After years opposing four mixed-income apartments come hell or high water, the St. Bernard Parish Council is waiving the white flag.
Not only are St. Bernard councilmen now saying they will allow the four 72-unit developments to move forward, they will work to change parish zoning laws to integrate more low-income rental housing into the parish.
The apparent surrender comes days after U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against the parish alleging its zoning laws discriminate against African-Americans by not allowing enough rental and affordable housing. That complaint officially commenced a HUD investigation into the parish’s actions and jeopardizes about $91 million in federal funding already committed to parish projects.
The HUD action occurred amid another in a string of federal lawsuits against the parish for preventing Provident Realty Advisors’ proposed $60 million project. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan already has labeled three of the parish’s past attempts to block its construction “racially discriminatory” and she currently is poised to rule on the most recent attempt.
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