HUD Investigating Religious Discrimination, Removal of Bibles at Assisted-Living Apartments in Oklahoma

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben. Carson visits faith-based homelessness service providers in Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 17, 2020. | HUD/Matthew Koenig, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries

Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said the department is investigating a complaint against the owner and manager of senior apartments in Oklahoma for violating the Fair Housing Act by removing Bibles and other religious literature from their common areas.

“Religious liberty is at the core of our nation’s identity and will be upheld under the Fair Housing Act,” Carson said in a statement. The law prohibits discrimination in housing and in housing-related services based on religion.

“Barring religious materials infringes upon this right, and the Trump administration will not stand for discrimination against any group for practicing their religious traditions,” Carson added.

Wilhoit Properties, which manages the apartments and assisted-living homes owned by Vintage Housing, was accused of sending an email to their 116 assisted living facilities asking the managers to remove Bibles and Christian literature from their libraries located in the common areas that were shared by all residents, Sapulpa Times reported in March.

A resident at the Carriage Crossing apartment complex sent a letter to Carson about the removal of Bibles and other Christian material.

Wilhoit Properties, which manages more than 200 properties in 16 states, allegedly removed the Bibles and Christian faith-based books without any warning to residents, who pay rent to use the common areas, according to the Times, which said the Christian material was removed after a resident complained about angels being used as décor in the common area.

“If this isn’t stopped, it will escalate … there is power in numbers. All I want is for this to be reversed and the books to be returned to the empty shelves,” Vaye Allen, a family member of a resident, was quoted as saying.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar