FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1997                           (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Resolving a federal lawsuit filed in
1995, the Justice Department today announced that the village of
Addison, Illinois, will pay up to $1.4 million for a
comprehensive urban redevelopment plan.  The Department's July,
1995 suit alleged that the village had violated the federal Fair
Housing Act by illegally tearing down Hispanic neighborhoods as
part of an urban renewal program.

     Under the settlement, which the parties finalized today but
must still be approved by the court, the $1.4 million will pay to
help build affordable housing, carry out relocation programs,
build parks, and compensate families displaced by the urban
renewal plan.   The Hispanic population in Addison, which has
32,000 residents, more than doubled between 1980 and 1990. 
     "We are pleased with Addison's cooperation in working to
preserve and improve these neighborhoods instead of destroying
them," said Isabelle Katz Pinzler, Acting Assistant Attorney
General for Civil Rights.  
     Under the compensation portion of the settlement, part of
the $1.4 million settlement will be paid to individuals.  The
package includes payments of $7,000 to 44 families forced to move
under an urban renewal plan, as well as a premium payment to
building owners forced to sell their properties. 

     Under the redevelopment portion of the agreement, Addison
will pay to help build affordable housing, including town homes,
duplexes, condominiums and owner-occupied multi-family dwellings. 
It also agreed to create two new parks in affected neighborhoods,
along with additional parking and a recreation center, and to
create a housing assistance program to help locate comparable
housing for any residents who have been displaced.

     If the city chooses to tear down and rebuild all of the
housing under the agreed urban redevelopment plan, the number of
buildings and households affected will result in a payment of
approximately $1.4 million.  Should the village decide to
implement only a portion of the plan, and choose to leave some
existing buildings intact, then the amount of payments that the
village will be required to make will be lower.

     According to the 1995 suit, the village improperly used a
state financing program that gives municipalities the authority
to tear down areas that are designated as "blighted" and turn the
properties over to private developers.  The Department's lawsuit
alleged that Addison intentionally targeted its plan at six of
the eight census blocks with majority Hispanic populations, even
after repeated inspections found that the housing complied with
applicable housing codes.  The Department claimed that the
village knew that there would be insufficient housing for the
displaced residents of those areas and that many Hispanic
families would be forced to leave.

     "We applaud efforts to improve neighborhoods by providing
residents with decent affordable housing," said James B. Burns,
U.S. Attorney in Chicago.  "But, effectively displacing
minorities in the name of redevelopment is an affront to
legitimate programs to remove blight."

     The matter was originally investigated by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and referred to the Justice
Department for enforcement.

     "This settlement demonstrates what can be accomplished when
HUD and the Department of Justice work together to enforce the
provision of the Fair Housing Act,"  said Housing Secretary
Andrew Cuomo. "The Clinton Administration is committed to
stamping out all forms of housing discrimination, and it is this
Department's responsibility to affirmatively further fair housing
goals when communities spend taxpayer dollars." 

     The settlement also resolves a related class action case
filed by residents and owners in the affected neighborhoods and
Hispanic and civil rights groups including Hispanics United of
DuPage County, the Hispanic Council and the Leadership Council
for Metropolitan Open Communities.
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