Feds settle suit with Jacksonville over disabled housing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Federal civil rights attorneys have settled a lawsuit filed against a Florida city for refusing to allow development of supportive housing for disabled people.

The settlement announced on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice requires the city of Jacksonville to pay $400,000 to the nonprofit that sought to develop the housing and to change its zoning code to comply with anti-discrimination laws, among other terms.

The lawsuit was filed after Jacksonville reversed a decision to allow Ability Housing to revitalize a 12-unit apartment building for permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans.

The lawsuit claimed the city denied the project after community pressure “based on stereotypes about the disabilities of the expected residents.”

Due to the rejection, Ability Housing lost a $1.35 million state grant and the property.

The city of Jacksonville did not immediately respond to a request for comment.