In 1995, residents of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City filed the class action lawsuit, Thompson v. HUD against the housing authority, the City of Baltimore and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The plaintiffs, approximately 14,000 African-American tenants, former tenants and prospective tenants of Baltimore City public housing developments, claimed that the defendants built and operated a segregated public housing system, perpetually and unfairly concentrating African-American public housing residents in the most impoverished and segregated areas of Baltimore City. At the time of the lawsuit filing, housing experts considered Baltimore to be one of the most racially segregated cities in America.
In January 2005, after nearly ten years of litigation, Federal District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis gave the public housing residents a precedent-setting civil rights victory. Judge Garbis held that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by unfairly concentrating African-American public housing residents in the most impoverished, segregated areas of Baltimore City. Judge Garbis ruled that HUD must take affirmative steps to implement an effective regional strategy for promoting fair housing opportunities for African-American public housing residents throughout the Baltimore region.
The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) was one such step, launching in 2012, as a subcontractor of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, to administer the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program and other remedies that resulted from case.
Counsel for Thompson v. HUD included the ACLU of Maryland, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP, Levy Ratner PC, and Jenner & Block LLP.