Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 30, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation Violations in Group Home Case

This post was authored by Amy Lavine, Esq.

The ordinance at issue required group homes in a residential district to be located at least 600 feet away from each other, and the court agreed with the decision below that it discriminated against disabled adults in violation of the FHA and ADA. The city’s counter argument that the definition of a “family” also prohibited three unrelated non-disabled adults from living together in a single family home was “dubious,” the court noted, as there was no evidence that the city had ever taken any action to enforce this restriction against non-disabled adults living together in the same home. The court also found that the group home should have been granted a reasonable accommodation because its application for a conditional permit would advance the integration of disabled people into the community and its benefits would outweigh any minimal costs to the city or the surrounding neighborhood. “In sum,” the court concluded, the plaintiffs showed a “better than negligible” likelihood of success on the merits of their case.

The decision in A.D. v. City of Springfield, which we summarized in a previous blog post, was affirmed on appeal by the Seventh Circuit in March.

Valencia v. City of Springfield, 883 F.3d 959 (7th Cir. 3/1/18).

 


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