HILLS V. GAUTREAUX, 425 U. S. 284 (1976)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hills v. Gautreaux, 425 U.S. 284 (1976)

Hills v. Gautreaux

No. 74-1047

Argued January 20, 1976

Decided April 20, 1976

425 U.S. 284


Respondents, Negro tenants in or applicants for public housing in Chicago, brought separate class actions against the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), alleging that CHA had deliberately selected family public housing sites in Chicago to "avoid the placement of Negro families in white neighborhoods" in violation of federal statutes and the Fourteenth Amendment, and that HUD had assisted in that policy by providing financial assistance and other support for CHA's discriminatory housing projects. The District Court on the basis of the evidence entered summary judgment against CHA, which was ordered to take remedial action. The court then granted a motion to dismiss the HUD action, which meanwhile had been held in abeyance. The Court of Appeals reversed, having found that HUD had committed constitutional and statutory violations by sanctioning and assisting CHA's discriminatory program. The District Court thereafter consolidated the CHA and HUD cases and, having rejected respondents' motion to consider metropolitan area relief, adopted petitioner's proposed order for corrective action in Chicago. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case "for additional evidence and for further consideration of the issue of metropolitan area relief."

Held: A metropolitan area remedy in this case is not impermissible as a matter of law. Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U. S. 717, distinguished. Pp. 425 U. S. 296-306.

(a) A remedial order against HUD affecting its conduct in the area beyond Chicago's geographic boundaries but within the housing market relevant to the respondents' housing options is warranted here because HUD, in contrast to the suburban school districts in Milliken, committed violations of the Constitution and federal statutes. Milliken imposes no per se rule that federal courts lack authority to order corrective action beyond the municipal boundaries where the violations occurred. Pp. 425 U. S. 297-300.

Page 425 U. S. 285

(b) The order affecting HUD's conduct beyond Chicago's boundaries would not impermissibly interfere with local governments and suburban housing authorities that were not implicated in HUD's unconstitutional conduct. Under the § 8 Lower-Income Housing Assistance program of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, HUD may contract directly with private owners and developers to make leased housing units available to eligible lower income persons, with local governmental units retaining the right to comment on specific proposals, to reject certain programs that are inconsistent with their approved housing assistance plans, and to require that zoning and other land use restrictions be observed by builders. Pp. 425 U. S. 300-306.

503 F.2d 930, affirmed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court in which all Members joined, except STEVENS, J., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. MARSHALL, J., filed a concurring statement, in which BRENNAN and WHITE, JJ., joined, post, p. 425 U. S. 306.

Page 425 U. S. 286

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