According to Reuters, the United States has joined a lawsuit that accuses the city of Los Angeles of neglecting to develop affordable housing for disabled people despite the acceptance of millions of dollars of federal funds to do so, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
The city is being accused of violating the federal False Claims Act by reporting incorrect compliance with laws regarding housing for individuals with disabilities, which is a condition to receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The lawsuit states that a portion of the funds went to CRA/LA, an agency that was formerly called the Community Redevelopment Agency, but the agency did not have a sufficient number of accessible units for individuals with disabilities.
"While people with disabilities struggled to find accessible housing, the city and its agents denied them equal access to housing while falsely certifying the availability of such housing to keep the dollars flowing," Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra Brown in Los Angeles said in a statement.
Mike Feuer, spokesman for Los Angeles City Attorney had no comment, the CRA/LA did not respond to requests for comment. The private lawsuit was filed by Mei Ling, a Los Angeles resident that utilizes a wheelchair, as well as the nonprofit Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley. The False Claims Act lawsuits allow private plaintiffs sue on behalf of the government and share in any recoveries. The government joins in suit if they believe the lawsuit has a high chance of success.