Justice Department files discrimination lawsuit over zoning ordinance targeting group homes

Federal officials have accused a New Orleans-area parish of violating the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people with disabilities.  News outlets reports the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday against St. Bernard Parish in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.  The lawsuit says the parish failed to provide reasonable accommodations to its zoning ordinance, as officials repeatedly refused to allow two group homes for teenagers with mental and emotional disabilities to operate in single-family zoning districts. 

In a statement, the Justice Department says the homes satisfied all of Louisiana’s relevant licensing requirements.  Parish Assistant District Attorney William McGoey says the DA’s office, which represents the parish in civil cases, does not comment on pending litigation. Parish council members did not respond to news outlets’ requests for comment.

From the Associated Press