Parish accused of limiting housing for African-Americans

January 31, 2012
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued St. Bernard Parish, accusing it of a multi-year campaign to limit rental housing for African-Americans after Hurricane Katrina.
     Parish President David Peralta was not immediately available for comment on the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. It involves ordinances and zoning regulations enacted under previous administrations.
     The lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice late Tuesday, said the parish set up a difficult approval process for single-family rentals, eliminated multifamily housing in much of the parish and repeatedly tried to block development of affordable apartment complexes.
     It also said a federal judge ruled in October that the parish had discriminated against blacks. That earlier suit was brought by nonprofit organization the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, rather than the government.