Housing Discrimination Complaint Filed in Richmond
MOBILE HOME RESIDENTS FILE HOUSING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AGAINST CITY OF RICHMOND
Families say the City’s code enforcement campaign is discriminatory, aims to shut down source of affordable housing.
A group of more than thirty current and former mobile home park residents filed a fair housing complaint against the City of Richmond on Friday after a year of trying to cooperate with the City. It was submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) over the City’s code enforcement campaign against mobile home parks. “We all want a safe home and we want to comply with the code,” says Gerardo Martinez, a resident of Mobile Towne on Old Midlothian Turnpike. “But we feel like the City is targeting mobile home parks because we are communities of poor, mostly Latino families.”
The group submitted the complaint to HUD 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 complaint 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.
Press Release (PDF)
Aviso de Prensa (PDF)
Official Complaint (PDF)
City Faces Discrimination Complaint (Style Weekly, 4/27/15)