Citizen Police: Using the Qui Tam Provision of the False Claims Act to Promote Racial and Economic Integration in Housing

Economic and racial integration in housing remains elusive more than forty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Recalcitrant municipal governments and exclusionary zoning ordinances have played a large role in maintaining and exacerbating segregated housing patterns. After discussing some of the persistent causes of segregated housing patterns, this Note presents a novel approach to enforcing the Fair Housing Act and the “affirmatively furthering fair housing” requirement on recipients of federal housing grants. This Note presents a citizen suit that emerged from the Southern District of New York in Anti-Discrimination Center v. Westchester County, where a private plaintiff successfully used the False Claims Act to enforce the Westchester County’s obligations to overcome impediments to racial integration. This Note concludes by arguing for specific reforms, regional coordination, and inclusionary zoning policies that recipients of federal funds should adopt as part of a truly integrated fair housing policy.