Nonprofit sues city for discriminatory zoning laws
September 13, 2010
One nonprofit fundraising organization is taking legal action against local officials who it says manipulated zoning laws and created delays to halt the building of a home for recovering drug addicts and their families.
U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock has refused to dismiss the discrimination lawsuit against Framingham, Massachusetts, officials, claiming that there is more than enough evidence for a jury to find the town in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act, the Boston Globe reports.
The lawsuit, filed nearly three years ago by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, claimed that officials and select city residents had participated in a coordinated campaign to rid the city of "problem people," "charity cases," "human waste" and the "dregs of society."
"We are pleased that the judge's ruling supports our decision to bring this action to support the rights of the disabled," said Jane Lane, a spokeswoman for the council.
Judge Woodlock further dismissed town meeting members' concerns of safety and potential crime related to the nonprofit's treatment programs, writing that they were "unsubstantiated and unsupported by objective evidence," the paper writes.
The South Middlesex Opportunity Council also operates youth development programs and homeless employment support.