WASHINGTON – The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) will reinstate a Native American family’s rental assistance under a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that settles allegations that SFHA employees said they did not work with Indian tribes and refused to accept the family’s tribal documents.
The agreement comes after Myron Standing Bear, a father of two who has disabilities, filed a complaint with HUD claiming that SFHA discriminated against him because of his race, disability, and family status when it initially denied him rental assistance. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing transactions based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, family status, and disability.
"This settlement ensures equal acceptance of Native American tribal documents," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
According to accounts reported in POOR Magazine, SFHA employees told Standing Bear that they didn’t "work with Indians, Indian tribes, and the Indian Child Welfare Act"ãand refused to accept his tribal guardianship documents. SFHA denied making the statements.ãããã
"Articles like the POOR Magazine story that was printed in the San Francisco Bay View assist our efforts to end housing discrimination," stated Trasviña. "When we hear about stories like this from the media or the community we take action."
Under the terms of the agreement, in addition to reinstating Standing Bear’s rental assistance through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, SFHA will issue guidance regarding acceptable documentation from Native American sources.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).