Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bay State Homeowner Files Fair Housing Lawsuit Against City, Sheriff's Department, Others For Allegedly Engaging In Residential Racial Segregation By Continuing To Dump Unwanted Land Use Projects In Poorest Black, Latino Neighborhoods; Latest Endeavor Involves Relocation Of Addiction Center For Jailed, Minimal Security Inmates

In Springfield, Massachusetts, Western Mass News reports:
  • There’s another lawsuit fighting the relocation of Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe's correctional addiction center.

    The plaintiffs in this suit are next door neighbors to the future site of the facility on Mill street in Springfield. The lawsuit claims their fair housing rights were violated and they're now asking a judge for a temporary restraining order.

    The plaintiff, Patricia Taste-Ray did not wish to speak on camera [], but the lawsuit alleges that Sheriff Ashe and other defendants are violating fair housing rights by "knowingly and intentionally siting the Western Mass Correctional Addiction Center in predominantly African-American, Latino and other non-white communities."

    The lawsuit goes on to say that Deputy Sheriff Michael Goldberg "submitted rigged bids with the assistance and aide of defendant Ashe twice."

    It comes after a failed attempt last summer to relocate the facility to Wason Avenue in the North End of Springfield. Nearby neighbors there also filed suit late last year.

    Other defendants in the suit include the city of Springfield, the Division of Capital and Asset Management which approved the Mill Street site, Carol Gladstone who is the commissioner of Capital Asset and Maintenance, MGM Springfield and Deputy Sheriff Michael Goldberg.
    The lawsuit is seeking a restraining order,(1) requesting work be stopped at the Mill Street site for the next 100 days while the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Department of Justice investigate.

  • It's alleged under the Fair Housing Act that the Sheriff along with the city of Springfield and MGM Springfield engaged in Residential Racial Segregation by continuing to dump unwanted land use projects in poorest most diverse neighborhoods in Springfield.
  • Calling the facts of the case "a mess," a federal judge on Thursday denied a temporary restraining order requested by Mill Street resident Patricia Taste-Ray to stop construction on the new location for the Western Massachusetts Correctional Addiction Center. [...] "This is an awkward fit because the Fair Housing Act deals with Realtors, landlords, and property owners who refuse to make a project available to people based on race or ethnicity," he said. "Using it to attempt to block the building of the facility is not appropriate."

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