JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Joliet, alleging it is violating fair housing laws by moving to condemn a 1960s era federally-subsidized affordable housing development.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the suit says Joliet is planning to displace approximately 764 low-income residents of Evergreen Terrace.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports
It says the effect of the city’s actions is “to limit or reduce the number of black residents.”
But Joliet City Manager Tom Thanas says the city “vehemently disagrees” with the federal government.
“Joliet is a very diverse community with a large African American population, a large Hispanic population,” Thanas said. “We welcome diversity and have a very diverse city council. We have diversity throughout the city in employment. We’re actually very surprised by the federal government’s position on the matter.”
Thanas says Joliet can house all of the residents who would be displaced.
The government says it doesn’t have a realistic plan to make that happen.