Civil Rights Attorney Sues D.C. For Gentrification
According to DCist, a District of Columbia lawyer has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city on behalf of three native Washingtonians and a community group called CARE with over 20 members. The suit claims that the city’s housing and urban renewal policies have discriminated against some of the District’s longest-standing residents in favor of attracting “millennial renters”. Becuase of an effort to attract a “creative class” of folks, most low income working class folks are being pushed out of their homes.
“The city is intentionally trying to lighten black neighborhoods, and the way they have primarily been doing it is through construction of high density, luxury buildings, that primarily only offer studios and one bedrooms,” the suit reads.
They are seeking more than $1 billion in damages, but will it stand a chance in court? Acoording to DCist, maybe:
It’s hard to tell. Several times in the complaint, Theresa says that the city is “intentionally” discriminating against people based on age and source of income. This intentionality may be difficult to prove in court. Anthony Cook, a professor at Georgetown Law, says that discrimination based on source of income generally refers to landlords refusing to rent to people who use housing vouchers. The issue of whether one is in the creative class as a basis for discrimination likely won’t have a leg to stand on in court, he says.
The city has yet to respond. Do you think this suit has a leg to stand on?