[Note — this is more in the trend of HUD/Justice Department to step in and enforce Fair Housing laws]
Federal authorities asked a judge to order New Berlin to issue building permits to MSP Real Estate so the company can start building the low-income and senior housing development that city officials approved and then later rejected after public opposition.
Wednesday’s court filing included partial transcripts of interviews with city officials and allegations that “race-based public opposition” played a role in torpedoing the project.
According to the filing, then-Ald. William Moore told the U.S. Department of Justice that opposition was based on “fear or something akin to hatred” and that residents mentioned “white flight” and were worried that “people from (the) inner city would come out.”
The details have come about two weeks after the Justice Department sued New Berlin in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, claiming racial discrimination drove the city’s decisions to block a low-income housing development, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
MSP filed its own federal suit in March contending that the city violated the Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities acts. It seeks nearly $13 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages. In response to that action, the city has denied race was a factor in rejecting the project.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel