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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
EASTERN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

C73-439

CITY OF PARMA, OHIO,
     Defendant.

___________________________

AGREEMENT AND DISMISSAL

  1. On August 30, 1995, defendant City of Parma, Ohio ("the City" or "Parma") filed a Motion for Relief from Remedial Order in this matter. In its Motion, the City asserts that it has complied with its obligations under the Remedial Order entered by this Court on December 4, 1980, as subsequently modified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ("Remedial Order") , and it seeks an Order recognizing such compliance and dismissing this case. The United States acknowledges that the City: (a) has participated in and continues to participate in the Community Development Block Grant program operated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; (b) has created its own public housing authority; (c)has established and now administers its own Section 8 program through such housing authority; and (d) has developed and constructed a sixty (60) unit public housing project within the City known as "Chevybrook Estates." However, while acknowledging the efforts the City has made to comply with the Remedial Order, the United States also contends that Parma has failed to satisfy fully the provisions of the Remedial Order and that the City should continue to undertake efforts to make Parma an open community.

  2. Despite their competing contentions, the parties agree to end twenty-three years of costly and protracted litigation by the entry of this Order, as indicated by the signatures appearing below.

  3. Only the United States, the City and the Court shall be responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this Order. In light of the parties' agreement on final remedial actions to be taken, as contained herein, the Amicus Curiae's role in this case is concluded.

  4. The provisions of this Order apply to the City, its employees, its agents and anyone acting under their respective direction or control or in concert or participation with them.

  5. This Order shall remain in effect for two (2) years following the completion of an implementation phase (hereinafter "the duration of the Order"). The implementation phase begins at the time this Order is entered by the Court and runs until the following three events take place: (1) The City's obligations under Paragraphs 11, 12, 13a and 13b have been satisfied, and the Housing Counseling Office, as described in Paragraph 14, is operational and open for public use; (2) the initial amount of money dedicated to the Rental Renovation Program, as described in Paragraphs 25 and 26, is available for use by participating landlords; and, (3) the initial amount of money dedicated to the Down Payment Assistance Program, as described in Paragraphs 27 through 29, is available for use by potential homebuyers. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter and over the parties for the duration of this Order. The Order shall terminate two (2) years following the "trigger date" and this case shall be dismissed with prejudice, each party to bear its own costs. The "trigger date" is the date on which the City sends by overnight mail written certification to the United States that the events described in (1) through (3), above, have taken place.

    If the United States does not object to the written certification within ten (10) days of its submission, the trigger date shall be the date of submission of the written certification. If the United States objects in writing within ten (10) days of the submission of the written certification, and the parties agree or the Court finds that the objection has merit, the trigger date shall be extended until the City and the United States agree that the final of the three necessary events has occurred. If the United States objects in writing within ten (10) days of the submission of the written certification, and the parties agree or the Court finds that such objection is without merit, the trigger date shall remain the date of submission to the United States of the written certification.

  6. This Order shall replace the Remedial Order. As set forth in the following paragraphs, the provisions of the Remedial Order are either: (1) retained in this Order; (2) not retained in this Order; or (3) not retained in this Order but replaced herein with other provisions by which the parties intend to accomplish the same purposes.

  7. Since there is no dispute between the parties that the following provisions of the remedial Order have been complied with, the following Sections of the Remedial Order are not retained in this Order:

    1. Section II.B. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Educational Program";

    2. Section II.C. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Fair Housing Resolution";

    3. Section II.F.2. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Bringing Low-Income Housing to Parma: Public Housing";

    4. Section II.F.3. of the Remedial Order, entitled"Bringing Low Income Housing to Parma: Section 8 Housing"; and

    5. Section II.F.4. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Bringing Low-Income Housing to Parma: Community Development Block Grant Funds."

    Accordingly, as of the date of entry of this Order, the foregoing sections of the Remedial Order are vacated and the City is no longer bound by the requirements contained therein.

  8. The following sections of the Remedial Order shall be retained in this Order as follows:

    1. Section II.A of the Remedial Order, entitled "General Non-Discrimination Provisions," shall be retained in this Order and the City shall continue to adhere to those provisions.

    2. Section II.E. of the Order, entitled "Parma's Ordinances," shall be retained in this Order. The Height Limitation Ordinance and the Parking Ordinance, each of which is fully described in the Court's June 5, 1980 decision, may remain in full force and effect subject to the following exceptions:

      1. The Height Limitation Ordinance shall not apply to any low or moderate income housing proposal submitted to the City; and

      2. The Parking Ordinance shall not apply to any low or moderate income housing proposal submitted to the City, except that the City may impose a parking requirement, reasonable in light of the purposes and goals of this Order, on any such submission, subject to the approval of the City's Department of Community Development.

    The low income housing ordinance and the zoning referendum ordinance, each of which is also discussed in the Remedial Order, have been repealed.

  9. The following sections of the Remedial Order shall not be retained but shall be replaced by the below-enumerated provisions of this Order by which the City shall be bound beginning upon the date of entry of this Order and continuing thereafter for the duration of this Order:

    1. Section II.D. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Advertisement of Parma As An Open Community," which shall be replaced by Paragraphs 11 through 24 below;

    2. Section II.F.1. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Bringing Low-Income Housing to Parma: Fair Housing Committee," which shall be replaced by Paragraphs 11 through 29 below. The parties note that pursuant to those Paragraphs, the City's Department of Community Development shall assume most of the functions the Remedial Order intended the Fair Housing Committee to serve;

    3. As subsequently modified by the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Section II.F.5. of the Remedial Order, entitled "Bringing Low-Income Housing to Parma: New Development of Low-Income Housing," which shall be replaced by Paragraphs 11 through 29 below.

  10. Consistent with this Court's original finding of liability, the purpose of this Order is to advance and ultimately to realize the Remedial Order's central goal of making Parma a community open to all persons without regard to their race or color.

  11. The City shall establish an Affirmative Marketing Plan designed to encourage African-Americans to move to and live in Parma. Within sixty (60) days of the date of entry of this Order, the City shall submit to the United States for approval a proposed contract with an independent, third party person(s), entity or entities for the development and implementation of the Plan. The proposed contract shall include a statement of work to be completed by the contractor and an itemized budget. If the United States does not object to the contract within ten (10) working days of its submission, the City shall immediately enter into the proposed contract.

  12. Within ninety (90) days after entering into the contract described in the preceding paragraph, the City shall submit a proposed Affirmative Marketing Plan to the United States for approval. The Plan shall include the following:

    1. The creation, use and distribution of a videotape which advertises the benefits of living in the City and which promotes the City as a community open to all races and nationalities. The videotape shall include, inter alia, interviews of African-American, Hispanic and other minority households currently residing in Parma;

    2. The creation and distribution of a community profile describing the City's services and amenities, the City's housing stock, business and employment opportunities in the City and the benefits of living in the City. The community profile shall display human models of men and women of different races and national origins, including African-Americans, and shall further indicate that the City welcomes families with children. The City shall distribute the community profile to members of Boards of Realtors and Realtists within Cuyahoga County, Ohio;

    3. A description of the outreach efforts the City will undertake to market itself to African-Americans employed in and near the City and African-Americans who use public accommodations within the City, such as restaurants and shopping malls. These outreach efforts shall include the dissemination of information about the benefits of living in the City, including the videotape and community profile discussed in subparagraphs a. and b. above, to area employers, unions, real estate agents, chambers of commerce, financial institutions, religious organizations, civic' associations, retail and restaurant business associations and other similar local entities.

    If the United States does not object to the Affirmative Marketing Plan within ten (10) working days of its submission, the City shall immediately begin to implement the Plan.

  13. No later than one hundred fifty (150) days after approval of the Affirmative Marketing Plan by the United States: (a) production of the video described in Paragraph 12 shall have been completed and use and distribution of the video shall begin; (b) publication of the community profile described in Paragraph 12 shall have been completed and distribution of the community profile shall begin; (c) the City shall begin undertaking the outreach efforts described in Paragraph 12; and (d) all other aspects of the Affirmative Marketing Plan shall be in effect.

  14. The City shall establish and operate a Housing Counseling Office ("HCO") designed to encourage African-Americans to move to and live in Parma. Within sixty (60) days of the date of entry of this Order, the City shall submit to the United States for approval a proposed contract with an independent, third party person(s), entity or entities to establish and operate the HCO. The proposed contract shall include a statement of work to be completed by the contractor and an itemized budget. If the United States does not object to the contract within ten (10) working days of its submission, the City shall immediately enter into the proposed contract. The HCO shall be open and fully operational in accordance with the paragraphs in this Order within one hundred fifty (150) days after approval of the contract by the United States.

  15. The City shall provide office space for the HCO in a location containing other components of City government. There shall be at least one full-time housing counselor and at least one full-time support staff person employed by the contractor in the HCO.

  16. The HCO shall prepare and disseminate to prospective homebuyers a packet of written materials which shall contain the following information:

    1. A description of the features and amenities of Parma, and of the benefits of living in Parma. Materials containing such description shall include the community profile described in Paragraph 12;

    2. A description of the homebuying process, including the role of real estate agents, the financing process, and information about any financial incentive programs offered by the City or other governmental entities for the purchase of homes, including the Ohio Housing Finance Authority's (OHFA) mortgage credit program, the City's first time homebuyers', program and the City's Down Payment Assistance Program; and

    3. An explanation of local, state and federal fair housing laws.

  17. The HCO shall conduct homebuying clinics which shall include the following:

    1. Distribution and explanation of the materials contained in the homebuyer packet described in Paragraph 16;

    2. Presentations by representatives from the lending and the real estate sales industries in which said representatives shall explain the roles of their respective industries in the homebuying process;

    3. Presentations by the housing counselor at the HCO explaining (1) the services offered by the HCO, including City tours, school tours and mortgage pre-qualification as described below, and (2) the financial incentives available to homebuyers in Parma, including the OHFA mortgage credit program, the City's first-time homebuyer program and the City's Down Payment Assistance Program; and

    4. Presentation of the video described in Paragraph 12, above.

    These homebuying clinics shall be conducted four (4) times per year for the duration of this Order. The clinics shall be held at locations within the City and shall be advertised in the Call and Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on radio stations with predominantly African-American audiences and through church and civic organizations with predominantly African-American memberships.

  18. For any prospective new resident of Parma who is interested in purchasing a home in Parma and who has attended an HCO homebuying clinic or who is eligible for the OHFA mortgage credit program, the HCO housing counselor shall offer to pre-qualify the homebuyer for mortgages. For each such homebuyer who accepts said offer, the HCO counselor shall meet with the homebuyer in person and pre-qualify him or her.

  19. The HCO shall prepare and disseminate to prospective renters a packet of written materials which shall contain the following information:

    1. A list of the addresses, telephone numbers, rental rates, number of bedrooms and other features of rental housing in Parma;

    2. A description of the features and amenities of Parma, and of the benefits of living in Parma. Materials containing such description shall include the community profile described in Paragraph 12;

    3. An explanation of landlord tenant laws; and

    4. An explanation of local, state and federal fair housing laws.

  20. The HCO shall conduct renter's clinics which shall include the following:

    1. Distribution and explanation of the materials contained in the renter's packet described in Paragraph 19;

    2. Presentations by the housing counselor at the HCO explaining (1) the services offered by the HCO, including guided City tours and school tours; and (2) presentation of the video described in Paragraph 12, above.

    These renter's clinics shall be conducted two (2) times per year for the duration of this Order. The clinics shall be held at locations within the City and shall be advertised in the Call and Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on radio stations with predominantly African-American audiences and through church and civic organizations with predominantly African-American memberships.

  21. The HCO shall provide and conduct guided tours of Parma for any potential new residents of the City who have attended an HCO homebuying or renter's clinic or who are eligible for the OHFA mortgage credit program. The tours shall include tours of Parma's various neighborhoods and tours of the City's public amenities, such as its schools, parks, retail areas and libraries. Tours provided to prospective buyers shall include the neighborhoods in Parma where homes are available for sale, and tours provided to prospective renters shall include the neighborhoods in Parma where apartments are available for rent.

  22. The HCO shall offer to all prospective new residents of Parma who have attended an HCO homebuying or renter's clinic or who are eligible for the OHFA mortgage credit program, guided tours of the schools in the neighborhood(s) where such prospective residents express interest in living. If any prospective resident accepts such offer, the HCO shall arrange the tour, and the HCO housing counselor shall accompany such prospective resident on the tour. The HCO shall establish a working relationship with the City's Board of Education and the City's schools in Order to facilitate these tours. The HCO shall arrange for any prospective resident taking such tour to have the opportunity to meet with officials and/or teachers at the schools he or she visits.

  23. The HCO shall affirmatively market its services to civic organizations, churches, fraternal groups, educational institutions, business associations and other entities with African-American clients, customers or employees. The HCO shall also affirmatively market its services by advertising in the Call and Post and Cleveland Plain Dealer and on radio stations with predominantly African-American audiences.

  24. The HCO shall conduct seminars for members of the local real estate sales community and for representatives of area financial institutions for the purpose of educating those persons about the City's Affirmative Marketing Plan, the services offered by the HCO and the financial incentives available to homebuyers through the City's first-time homebuyer program, the City's Down Payment Assistance Program and the OHFA mortgage credit program. The seminars shall include the presentation of the video described in Paragraph 12, above, and distribution of the community profile described in Paragraph 12, above. Within the first year after the HCO is established, the HCO shall conduct two (2) such seminars, and for each year thereafter, the HCO shall conduct one (1) such seminar.

  25. The City shall establish a Rental Renovation Program for the purpose of renovating, rehabilitating and preserving existing rental units within the City. On or before the trigger date, as defined in Paragraph 5, above, the City shall make available no less than Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000) for the Program. In addition, on the first anniversary date of the trigger date, the City shall make available an additional Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000) for the same purpose. Accordingly, for the duration of this Order, the sum total of the City's committed expenditures on the renovation, rehabilitation and preservation of existing rental units in the City shall be no less than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000). The City may obtain the required funding for such renovation, rehabilitation and preservation from whatever sources it has at its disposal, including but not limited to Community Development Block Grant funds, funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME program, the Ohio Affordable Housing Trust Fund, federal low income tax credits and private donations. If persons or entities fail to take advantage of the funds available under this program, the unused funds shall be transferred into the Down Payment Assistance Program, as described below, at the end of the one year period during which those funds have been made available. The Department of Justice shall, in good faith, support the City's efforts to obtain funding for this program.

  26. The City shall make available the funds obligated under the preceding paragraph to all persons or entities owning rental housing in the City who satisfy the pertinent eligibility criteria for any of the programs providing such funding. However, the City shall not provide any such funds to any owner unless that owner first enters into a written fair housing agreement which shall include the following:

    1. A description of the number and location of the rental units to be renovated, the specific renovations to be completed and a schedule for completion of the renovations;

    2. A provision requiring the owner to provide fair housing training to those persons employed by the owner or otherwise acting on behalf of the owner and involved in the rental of the owner's apartments in Parma. The City shall assume the costs of any such training;

    3. A provision: (1) requiring that when the owner has any apartment unit available for rent in the City, the owner shall notify the HCO of such unit's availability prior to advertising or notifying the general public of such availability; and (2) prohibiting the owner from advertising or notifying the general public of such unit's availability until at least one week after notifying the HCO of such availability. Upon receiving notice of the availability of an apartment for rent, the HCO shall notify those persons eligible for all of the HCO's services who express or have expressed interest to the HCO in renting an apartment in the City, of the available housing for rent.

    The City shall draft a model fair housing agreement and submit it to the United States for approval within ninety (90) days of the date of entry of this Order. If the United States does not object to the agreement within thirty (30) days of its submission, the City shall utilize the agreement.

  27. The City shall establish a Down Payment Assistance Program. On or before the trigger date, as defined in Paragraph 5, above, the City shall make available no less than Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000) for the purpose of implementing the Program. In addition, on the first anniversary date of the trigger date, the City shall make available no less than an additional Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250, 000) for the same purpose. Accordingly, for the duration of this Order, the sum total of the City's committed expenditures on the Down Payment Assistance Program shall be no less than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000). The City shall use its best efforts to obtain an additional Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000). If the City obtains any of these additional funds, then they shall be used for this Program. In the event the City is unable to obtain any additional funds, then the City is obligated to make available no more than a total of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) . The City may obtain the required funding for such Down Payment Assistance Program from whatever sources it has at its disposal, including but not limited to Community Development Block Grant funds, funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Program, the Ohio Affordable Housing Trust Fund and private donations. The Department of Justice shall, in good faith, support the City's efforts to obtain funding for this program.

  28. Under the Down Payment Assistance Program the City shall make available the funds described in the preceeding paragraph to each person who satisfies the eligibility criteria for the provision of such funding, in an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the purchase price on the applicable home, but no more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per transaction. The eligibility criteria for the provision of such funding shall include, at a minimum, a requirement that the borrower be purchasing a home within the City of Parma as his or her primary residence and that the borrower have at his or her disposal Five Percent (5%) of the purchase price of the home as a down payment as a prerequisite to qualifying for this Program.

  29. The Down Payment Assistance Program shall be marketed by the City, through its Affirmative Marketing Plan and the HCO, and shall give preference to African-American home buyers. The City shall draft a complete Down Payment Assistance Program and submit it to the United States for approval within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order. If the United States does not object to the program within thirty (30) days of its submission, the City shall immediately implement the program as proposed.

  30. During the term of this Order, the City shall preserve all records related to the provisions of this Order. Upon ten (10) days notice to counsel for the City, representatives of the United States shall he permitted to inspect and copy all such records at a time mutually agreed upon by the parties.

  31. Beginning three (3) months from the date of entry of this Order and once every three (3) months thereafter for the first year this Order is in effect, and after said first year, once every six (6) months for the duration of this Order, the City shall prepare and serve upon the United States a "Compliance Report." Each Compliance Report shall specifically describe each action taken in the preceding applicable period to comply with each of the substantive provisions of this Order. Each Compliance Report shall also contain copies of any and all documentation supporting such actions including:

    1. Copies of any documents or materials, written, video or otherwise, which were published, produced and/or distributed in the preceding applicable period in conjunction with this Order;

    2. Copies of any documents or materials produced in the preceding applicable period, written, video or otherwise, which involve the possible, planned or actual rehabilitation of existing rental housing pursuant to this Order;

    3. The number and race of persons for each of the following:

      1. Persons who attended an HCO homebuying or renter's clinic;

      2. Persons who received a City tour;

      3. Persons who received a school tour;

      4. Persons who met with an HCO housing counselor to be pre-qualified for a mortgage;

      5. Persons who applied for assistance from the City's First Time Homebuyer's Program or Down Payment Assistance Program;

      6. Persons who received assistance from the City's First Time Homebuyer's Program or Down Payment Assistance Program; and

      7. Persons who obtained other HCO services.

    4. The number and race of homebuyers and renters by household who moved to Parma after receiving HCO services;

    5. Copies of any documents or materials produced in the preceding applicable period, written, video or otherwise, which involve the development or operation of, the raising or disbursement of funds under, or any other aspect of the City's Down Payment Assistance Program described above; and

    6. Any other documents or materials relating to the City's efforts to comply with the particular provisions of this Order.

    The provisions of this paragraph supersede the City's prior obligation to provide monthly status reports to the Court.

  32. The parties to this Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of or compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution and shall certify in writing that such attempts have been made prior to seeking the Court's intervention. However, in the event of a failure by the City to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Order or in the event of any other act violating any provision thereof, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity. As set forth in Paragraph 5, above, the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this Order for the duration of this Order.

  33. This Order constitutes the entire agreement among the parties and supersedes and renders void all prior agreements, written or oral, among the parties. In the event any provision or term of this Order is determined to be or is rendered invalid or unenforceable, all other provisions and terms of this Order shall remain unaffected to the extent permitted by law.

ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED this____ day of _________, 1996

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

FOR THE UNITED STATES:

DEVAL L. PATRICK
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

PAUL F. HANCOCK
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

BRIAN F. HEFFERNAN
DIANE L. HOUK
SETH A. ROSENTHAL
Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 514-4713

FOR THE CITY OF PARMA:

TOM McDONALD (0013080)
GREGORY V. MERSOL (00380838)
JOSEPH J. MORFORD
Arter & Hadden
1100 Huntington Building
925 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-1475
(216) 696-1100

WILLIAM D. MASON (0037540)
Law Director
City of Parma
City Hall
6611 Ridge Road
Parma, Ohio 44129
(216) 885-8132

General Information Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
 
Leadership
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Contact
Housing & Civil
Enforcement Section
(202) 514-4713
TTY - 202-305-1882
FAX - (202) 514-1116
To Report an Incident of Housing Discrimination:
1-800-896-7743
Mailing Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Email: fairhousing@usdoj.gov

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