Fair Housing Lawsuit Filed in Richmond

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MOBILE HOME RESIDENTS FILE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL COURT AGAINST CITY OF RICHMOND

City’s code enforcement campaign is discriminatory and aims to shut down a vital source of affordable housing.

A group of 32 current and former mobile home park residents filed a fair housing lawsuit against the City of Richmond in Federal Court after a year of trying to cooperate with the City. The suit alleges that the City’s code enforcement campaign against mobile home parks, which began in early 2014, has violated the civil rights of residents. The lawsuit describes multiple attempts to resolve the safety concerns all of which were rejected by the City.

The group filed the lawsuit with the help of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Richmond and the law firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C. It alleges that the City’s enforcement campaign discriminates by specifically targeting mobile home parks, where residents are mainly Latino. “Instead of finding ways to help ensure they have safe housing, inspectors are threatening to shut down the only option many of these families can afford,” according to Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Phil Storey.

The lawsuit describes ways the City has subjected mobile home residents to harsh enforcement actions. These include intrusive inspections with armed police escorts; threats to condemn homes or even bring criminal charges if residents don’t allow inspectors inside; and unreasonable repair standards that make compliance unrealistic.

Resources

Press Release (PDF)

Aviso de Prensa (PDF)

Lawsuit (PDF)

Media Coverage

City Strangles Poor with Red Tape (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/25/15)

Mobile Home Lawsuit Reflects Poorly on City (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/24/15)

Staking a Claim (Richmond Magazine, 8/23/15)

Mobile Home Residents File Lawsuit Against Richmond (Richmond Free Press, 8/20/15)

Latino Families File Federal Discrimination Lawsuit Against City of Richmond (WWBT NBC12 Richmond, 8/18/15)

Mobile Home Residents File Federal Lawsuit Alleging Richmond Is Violating Latinos’ Civil Rights (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/18/15)