They’re tasked with investigating housing laws, now they’re under investigation

Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 9:19 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2023 at 9:15 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A federal agency has suspended taxpayer funding to the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council pending the results of an investigation.

The organization’s Board President confirmed to First Alert 4 Investigates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development had suspended a “considerable percentage” of the funding to the agency and that some of their services have been impacted and employees laid off.

Nate Johnson declined, however, to comment on the specifics of the allegations the federal government was investigating, saying there were “a variety of things that have come to light that need to be looked at.”

Often referred to as EHOC, the non-profit is the only one like it in the region and has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in public grant money in recent years to assist local people with housing problems.

Johnson stressed the suspension of funds was only temporary.

“We are hoping to get that resolved so we can resume operations and get back to our full capacity,” he said.

During COVID, EHOC provided eviction defense services and has historically investigated instances of alleged violations of Fair Housing laws, sexual harassment by landlords and other instances of potential law violations.

The investigation comes amidst a significant change in leadership in the agency. Will Jordan, the Executive Director of the agency, resigned in mid-October.

Jordan told First Alert 4 he was locked out of his computer in July when he entered the hospital for health problems. He said a “coup” of employees in the agency had sought to oust him.

First Alert 4 has reached out to HUD, but we are still waiting for a response. A spokesperson for the Office of Inspector General for the Department said they could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details.