The Justice Division introduced today that the village of Hinsdale, Illinois, has agreed to spend $800,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the village violated the Good Housing Act when it refused to let the operation of a sober living home for folks in recovery from drug and alcohol habit in a residential community.
The settlement, which continue to need to be approved by the U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of Illinois, resolves a lawsuit that the department submitted in November 2020. This settlement also resolves a connected go well with introduced by the sober residing home’s operator and operator, Trinity Sober Residing LLC.
“Local governments do not have the proper to use zoning regulations and limitations as a auto to discriminate in opposition to people today with disabilities,” stated Assistant Lawyer General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division. “The Office of Justice is dedicated to vigorous enforcement of federal regulation to guarantee that men and women in recovery have access to the housing and assist they have to have to maintain their sobriety and direct productive life.”
“Individuals with disabilities – including people recovering from drug and alcoholic beverages habit – really should not be excluded from dwelling in residential neighborhoods,” claimed U.S. Legal professional John R. Lausch Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois. “Such discrimination by community governments is forbidden underneath the Reasonable Housing Act.”
The department’s lawsuit alleged that the village of Hinsdale violated the Fair Housing Act soon after it denied a sensible lodging ask for by Trinity Sober Dwelling LLC to operate a sober living house with ten residents and a property manager in a residential neighborhood. The complaint alleged that, a single day just after Trinity asked for an lodging, the village sued Trinity in state court docket for violations of the zoning code, together with that the residence was a “commercial use” and would have a lot more than three unrelated older people.
Under the settlement, the village will amend its zoning ordinance to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws, like allowing houses for folks with disabilities in household districts, with the similar dimension limits utilized to family members of similar dimension, and applying a fair lodging coverage. The village will also pay $790,000 in financial damages to Trinity as well as a civil penalty of $10,000 to the United States. The village also agreed to take a number of other actions to guard in opposition to housing discrimination, including teaching village officers and personnel about their obligations beneath federal regulation, designating a honest housing compliance officer and reporting periodically to the Justice Office.
Trinity Sober Residing LLC is represented by Kennedy Hunt P.C., a civil rights law firm in St. Louis, and Esposito and Staubus LLP, a legislation agency in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
The federal Reasonable Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability, race, shade, religion, national origin, intercourse and familial position. A lot more information about the Civil Rights Division and the guidelines it enforces is accessible at www.justice.gov/crt. People today who feel that they might have been victims of housing discrimination can contact the Justice Division at 1-833-591-0291 or post a report on-line at civilrights.justice.gov. People today may possibly also call HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or via its internet site at https://www.hud.gov/method_offices/good_housing_equivalent_opp. Persons might also report housing discrimination, and other varieties of discrimination in opposition to people with disabilities, to the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (312) 353-5300.