Sunday, September 25, 2016

Threatened With Redevelopment Plans That Don't Include Them, Boot-Fearing, Low-Income Tenants In 535-Unit Section 8 Apartment Complex Tag D.C. Developer With Housing Discrimination (Familial Status) Lawsuit For Alleged Harm Against Big Families; Failure To Replace Existing 4 & 5-Bedroom Apartments Will Displace As Many As 150 Extended Families Needing Larger Accommodations: Complaint

In Washington, D.C., the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs(1) recently announced:
  • As plans move forward to redevelop Brookland Manor, a group of long-standing resident families, along with community-based organization ONE DC, have filed a class action lawsuit [] challenging the discriminatory redevelopment by developer Mid-City Financial Corporation and its affiliates.

    If allowed to go forward as planned, the redevelopment would eliminate many apartments with three bedrooms and all apartments of more than three bedrooms, and displace up to one hundred and fifty families. Defendant Mid-City Financial Corporation has “justified” this discrimination on the basis that large families are “not consistent with the creation of a vibrant new community.”

    Tenants, who have lived at Brookland Manor with their families for years, disagree with this notion. Named plaintiff, Adriann Borum, comments: “They say it takes a village to raise a child. I was raised at Brookland Manor, and have raised 5 children here. Brookland Manor is our village, and our village is being torn apart.”

    Ms. Borum has lived at Brookland Manor for 28 years, but her four bedroom apartment is among those that would be bulldozed and left un-replaced in the proposed redevelopment. She and other residents bringing this lawsuit want to preserve their homes, which are among the only affordable apartments with three, four, or five bedrooms in the District.

    The complaint [] details the resident families’ claims that Defendants seek to exclude and displace up to 150 families by eliminating family-sized units (three-, four- and five-bedroom units) in the redevelopment, which will have a discriminatory and disproportional impact on families. The lawsuit also seeks an order from the court halting the proposed redevelopment to prevent any further forced displacement of tenants prior to the resolution of this court action.
For more, see: Low-Income Families File Lawsuit to Halt Discriminatory Redevelopment of DC-Based Brookland Manor Property.

View the Brookland Manor Litigation Fact Sheet here.

For the lawsuit, see Borum, et al. v. Brentwood Village, LLC et al.

See also Washington City Paper: Northeast Tenants Sue Owner for Alleged Discrimination (A lawsuit against the owner, notorious for anti-tenant practices, claims redevelopment plans would push out Brookland Manor residents).
(1) The Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1968 to provide pro bono legal services to address discrimination and entrenched poverty in the Washington, DC community.

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