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Case Name United States v. New York City Housing Authority PH-NY-0005
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-05213-WHP ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Public Housing
Case Summary
On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Government filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff sued the New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. § 1437d(j)(3)), the federal Anti-Fraud Injunction Act (18 U.S.C. � ... read more >
On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Government filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff sued the New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. § 1437d(j)(3)), the federal Anti-Fraud Injunction Act (18 U.S.C. § 1345), and the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. § 2616(a)(1)). The government sought injunctive relief, appointment of a monitor, and equitable relief. The plaintiff claimed that NYCHA violated the basic health and safety regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and repeatedly engaged in deceptive practices. Specifically, they claimed that NYCHA failed to protect the residents from lead paint, failed to provide "decent, safe, and sanitary" housing per HUD's regulations, falsely said that they comply with HUD's regulations by disguising the true conditions of its properties, provided inadequate heat to the homes, and did not fix leaks, peeling paint, and other deteriorations. The plaintiff also claimed that NYCHA's typical response to external inquiries is to cover up or minimize problems that it knows to exist and make false statements to HUD and the public. The case was assigned to Judge William H. Pauley III.

In addition to filing the complaint on June 11, 2018, the plaintiff also submitted a proposed consent decree calling for a non-judicial monitor, and among other injunctive and monetary agreements:

(1) a requirement that NYCHA comply with federal, state, and local lead paint statutes and regulations;
(2) a requirement that NYCHA comply with federal regulations requiring HUD housing to be decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair;
(3) injunctive relief requiring NYCHA to establish a Compliance Department, Environmental Health and Safety Department, and Quality Assurance Unit in consultation with the monitor; and
(4) injunctive relief requiring NYCHA to comply with federal regulations and rules relating to lead-safe work practices, lead abatement, lead paint disclosure and notification, and prioritization of lead paint hazards.


On November 14, 2018, Judge Pauley III denied the consent decree for not being fair, reasonable, or consistent with the public interest. He also claimed that it had fatal procedural flaws, including unrealistic enforcement mechanisms. 347 F.Supp.3d 182.

On January 31, 2019 the parties signed an agreement that called for the appointment of a non-judicial monitor. The agreement provided that within 14 days of appointment of the monitor, the plaintiff would voluntary dismiss the claims without prejudice. The parties also filed a joint motion to stay the proceedings for forty-five days in order to allow them to obtain a monitor to satisfy the condition precedent to dismissal under the parties’ agreement. On February 1, 2019, Judge Pauley III approved this motion.

On March 14, 2019 the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice, and the court ordered the case be dismissed without prejudice on March 15, 2019 because the parties had appointed a monitor on February 28, 2019 and finalized a settlement agreement. The defendant agreed to remedy the deficient conditions in NYCHA properties, comply with all obligations under federal law, reform its management structure, and coordinate with HUD and the City.

The settlement required installing a monitor to oversee development, issuing quarterly reports, convening with a community engagement committee, and changing the leadership (CEO) for NYCHA. Additionally, NYCHA was required to meet specified compliance requirements for lead paint and other health and safety issues, establish a compliance department, environmental health and safety department, a quality insurance unit, submit to inspections, and update all systems related to heat, elevators, trash, pests, and other disruptions. The monitor, HUD, EPA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all held certain oversight roles under the agreement.

At any time five years from the effective settlement date (March 15, 2019), either party can move to terminate the agreement and it will be terminated if the defendants have satisfied the specified criteria, which includes with compliance with obligations outlined in settlement for the twelve months prior to requesting termination and complying with all applicable laws. Regarding costs, the settlement required the City to bear the costs of the monitor, consultant, and all updates necessary. The City agreed to commit at least $2.2 billion in funding in the next 10 years to address issues with the NYCHA buildings. If the defendant fails to comply with the agreement, HUD, EPA, or the United States may enforce the agreement by seeking injunctive relief or an order of specific performance. The court agreed to retain jurisdiction over the settlement until termination of the agreement. As of October 24, 2019, there was no additional activity on this case. The settlement agreement is ongoing.

Lisa Koo - 02/18/2019
Emma Himes - 10/24/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Defendant-type
Housing Authority
General
Buildings
Housing
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Sanitation / living conditions
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Defendant(s) New York City Housing Authority
Plaintiff Description U.S. government (Attorney General of the Southern District of New York).
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2019 - n/a
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Urban Institute Baseline Assessment of Public Housing Desegregation Cases
Date: 2000
By: George Galster et al. (Urban Institute, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Faculty)
Citation: (2000)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
1:18−cv−05213 (S.D.N.Y.)
PH-NY-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/03/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PH-NY-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 5-1]
PH-NY-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 64] (347 F.Supp.3d 182) (S.D.N.Y.)
PH-NY-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/14/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memo Endorsement [ECF# 74]
PH-NY-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Dismissal Without Prejudice Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) [ECF# 75]
PH-NY-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/14/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Pauley, William H. III (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berman, Geoffrey S. (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005
Folch, Monica Pilar (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005 | PH-NY-0005-9000
Kraemer, Talia (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005 | PH-NY-0005-9000
Lillywhite, Jacob Thomas (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005 | PH-NY-0005-9000
Mohan, Sharanya (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005 | PH-NY-0005-9000
Oestericher, Jeffrey Stuart (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-9000
Yalen, Robert William (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0001 | PH-NY-0005-0002 | PH-NY-0005-0004 | PH-NY-0005-0005 | PH-NY-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adegbile, Debo Patrick (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-9000
Carter, Zachary W. (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-0002
Sanghvi, Saurabh (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York) show/hide docs
PH-NY-0005-9000

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