On Monday, the Justice Department in Boston ruled that the city would pay $1.5 million in damages and legal fees as a result of severe racial harassment against black and Hispanic residents living in public housing projects.
The suit was filed by the Justice Department against the Boston Housing Authority, who allegedly knew of the harassment but failed to respond. Thirteen black and Hispanic residents residing in the developments in South Boston and Charlestown neighborhoods were subjected to “acts and threats of violence, vandalism, racist graffiti, and racist slurs.”
This suit follows complaints by the Justice Department that the Department of Housing and Urban Development violated the Fair Housing Act by failing to protect the rights and interests of minorities. A portion of the fees will go towards the development of a program to “ensure that all tenants are treated equally.”
The Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Bill Lann Lee, commented that “Landlords cannot turn a blind eye to racial violence on their property. This settlement sends a message to all landlords, large or small, that the federal government will not stand by when racial harassment takes place.”