Rosanna Turner Jul. 23, 2015, 1:12pm


The United States is suing the city of Beaumont, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in its housing practices, violating both the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act.

The United States government filed a lawsuit May 26 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas against the city of Beaumont. The U.S. alleges Beaumont prevented or inhibited the operation of small community homes of up to four residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

According to the complaint, Beaumont imposed a half-mile spacing requirement for these homes, imposed overly restrictive fire code requirements that exceed state of Texas requirements, compelled the closure of several community homes and, in some cases, forced residents to enter a nursing home. The suit says due to these restrictions, numerous homes for persons with disabilities have not been allowed to open.

The government seeks a court order for Beaumont to take affirmative steps to comply with the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, award monetary damages to all aggrieved persons and assess a civil penalty against Beaumont to vindicate the public interest.

The government is represented by attorneys John Malcolm Bales of the Eastern District of Texas, Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, and Michael Lockhart, assistant U.S. attorney,

Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number 1:15-cv-00201-RC

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