JD Howlette Law Files Unlawful Discrimination Lawsuit Against U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development

By JD Howlette Law

WASHINGTON, DC, October 17, 2023 – JD Howlette Law recently announced the filing of a federal civil rights complaint against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). Filed on behalf of Plaintiff Mustafa Ak, the complaint alleges that HUD unlawfully discriminated against Mr. Ak on the basis of his ethnicity and national origin in its administration of a federally-financed program.

Mr. Ak, a dedicated police officer and a Muslim male, sought to participate in HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) Sales Program. This federal initiative allows law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians the opportunity to purchase homes at a 50% discount. According to the complaint, HUD initially allowed Mr. Ak to proceed with the purchase of a home under the GNND Sales Program, but then later rescinded the offer citing Mr. Ak’s alleged ineligibility under a specific regulation (i.e., 24 C.F.R. § 291.520(c)). Yet, evidence obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that HUD allowed other officers to participate in the GNND Sales Program despite their ineligibility under the same regulatory provision.

The complaint specifically alleges that HUD engaged in selective enforcement that was motivated by an unconstitutional bias against his Arabic or Muslin-sounding name, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. According to the complaint, the other ineligible officers who HUD allowed to participate in the GNND Sales Program did not have Muslim-sounding names.

This case underscores a blatant instance of discrimination through selective government enforcement, where a deserving individual was denied an opportunity that appears to be solely based on his ethnicity and national origin,” said Jordan D. Howlette, Managing Attorney at JD Howlette Law. “We are committed to ensuring that justice is served and that such discriminatory practices are eradicated, especially in the federal government.”

JD Howlette Law seeks a declaration that HUD’s enforcement of the specific regulation is unconstitutional as applied to Mr. Ak, compensatory damages for the harm Mr. Ak suffered as a result of HUD’s conduct.