Chapel Hill Settles Discrimination Lawsuit
Denying any wrongdoing, the town has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a housing discrimination claim brought by the mother of a disabled girl.
In December 2005, the federal Justice Department sued the town for failing to provide a subsidized apartment with wheelchair access. Both parties have agreed to settle the dispute, but the U.S. District Court in Greensboro still must approve the agreement.
Under the settlement, the town would adjust its housing accommodation policy and retrain employees on the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on a disability.
"No one with a disability should be denied an accommodation they need to maintain their independence," said Kim Kendrick, assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Kari R. Johnson, a Raleigh lawyer representing the town, said Chapel Hill denies the allegations but settled to avoid fees that would have resulted from a protracted legal battle.