Suit Challenges Low-income Housing Plan

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CHICAGO, Aug. 5 (UPI) — The U.S. government says in a lawsuit condemning a low-income housing complex in Joliet, Ill., would force African-American residents to move to another town.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, charges Joliet violated federal housing laws and seeks to stop the condemnation unless the city “develops and implements a plan providing for adequate and affordable housing for those persons who would be displaced,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

“The city has no meaningful plan to provide such affordable housing on a similar scale elsewhere in the city,” the suit says.

The federally subsidized complex west of downtown Joliet, Evergreen Terrace, is home to about 765 mostly African-American residents.

Joliet officials say the complex is crime-ridden and are prepared to spend $3.5 million for redevelopment for affordable housing and for relocating residents.

“We welcome the lawsuit,” City Manager Tom Thanas said. “We’ll have a neutral party resolving the dispute and assessing the facts, and we believe the neutral party will see that the city’s interest in protecting the residents’ right should prevail.”

Jake Paschen, president of the company that manages the complex, Burnham Management Co., could not be reached for comment, the Tribune said.

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