After a three-year legal challenge, a resolution was reached in a federal lawsuit alleging the City of Peoria's chronic nuisance ordinance was discriminating against residents on the bases of race and gender.
September 9, 2020
After a three-year legal challenge, a resolution was reached in a federal lawsuit alleging the City of Peoria’s chronic nuisance ordinance was discriminating against residents on the bases of race and gender. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of HOPE Fair Housing Center by Relman Colfax PLLC and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, alleged that Peoria harmed survivors of domestic violence and did not enforce the ordinance equally against all homes, instead selectively enforcing against Black communities and residents.
On August 31, 2020 the parties reached resolution in the case. Pursuant to the settlement, the City will amend the ordinance and police department policies to ensure nondiscriminatory enforcement of the ordinance, protect tenant rights, and conduct a regular assessment of racial disparities and the impact on victims of domestic violence to ensure compliance. 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. The Shriver Center on Poverty Law team was led by Kate Walz, Emily Coffey, Tex Pasley, and Henry Oostrom-Shah.