Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination Against Black and Latinx Renters During Hurricane Harvey Recovery

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) member Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and three low-income renters of color allege that the decision by HUD and the Texas General Land Office to steer $5 billion in Hurricane Harvey recovery funding to homeowners, developers, and landlords has disparately impacted black and Latinx disaster survivors who are more likely to rent their homes.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit received little disaster assistance after surviving Hurricane Harvey in 2017. As a result, they were forced to live in cars, move out of their communities, or sleep on floors during the two years following the disaster. The suit alleges this was the typical experience for low-income renters after the storm, a claim supported by data collected by fellow DHRC member Texas Housers showing homeowners had far greater access to and eligibility for Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery programs than did renters.

The suit is similar to one filed after Hurricane Sandy by DHRC member Fair Share Housing Center of New Jersey. That suit alleged the state of New Jersey similarly provided the vast majority of recovery funds to homeowners, leaving few resources for renters of color.

Read the New York Times coverage of the suit at:

Read the initial complaint at:

Read about the data collected by Texas Housers at: