Relman Colfax PLLC and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law are pleased to announce the August 31, 2020 settlement of housing discrimination litigation brought by HOPE Fair Housing challenging City of Peoria’s “chronic nuisance” ordinance. The complaint alleged that the ordinance was selectively enforced against Black residents and in Black neighborhoods and against women experiencing domestic violence, in violation of the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Civil Rights Act.
Pursuant to the settlement, the City will amend the ordinance and police department policies to ensure nondiscriminatory enforcement of the ordinance and to protect tenant rights. The revised ordinance clarifies the manner in which it can be enforced, provides due process protections for those tenants affected by enforcement, includes anti-retaliation provisions for tenants, and protects tenants who report landlords who have failed to live up to their responsibilities. HOPE will engage in community education and counseling for tenants to ensure they understand their rights under the revised ordinance. The City will also dedicate additional resources to its Re-Housing Fund to help tenants displaced from buildings deemed unfit for habitation.
The Relman Colfax team was led by Tara Ramchandani, Rebecca Livengood, Alexa Milton, Allison Verrilli, Abigail Moats, and Olivia Fritz and was joined by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, led by Kate Walz, Emily Coffey, Tex Pasley and Henry Oostrom-Shah.