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Federal agency critical of housing procedures in Houston

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HOUSTON (AP) - The federal housing agency says Houston's procedures for approving some low-income housing perpetuate segregation and violate the Civil Rights Act.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also says racially motivated opposition from residents convinced Mayor Sylvester Turner to reject a housing project in the city's affluent Galleria area.

The Houston Chronicle reports the findings were disclosed in a 14-page letter last week that blames the city for "blocking and deterring affordable housing proposals in integrated neighborhoods." It mandates the city fix its procedures.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tells the newspaper that "costs and other concerns" blocked the housing project and that he strongly disagrees with the housing agency's findings. The project would have been the agency's first in Houston in a low-crime area with good schools.

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