September 4, 2010

Housing group files lawsuit against property owners who evicted families

9-4-2010 Florida:

Families out; sex offenders in

LANTANA, Fla. - Tara Whyte remembers the stress. "Every day it was a knock on the door. Have you found somewhere yet? Have you found somewhere yet? Have you found somewhere yet?"

The knocking came after a letter that Whyte and other families living in Pelican Lake Village near Pahokee received in December of 2008. It said anyone with children under the age of 18 had to be out of their homes by January 1st.

"I thought it was just nasty. It was over holidays. No Christmas for the kids. All of my belongings were packed in boxes," said Whyte.

Friday, the Fair Housing Center of the Palm Beaches filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Whyte and five other families who lived in Pelican Lake Village.

"How many people are ready to move at a moments notice?" asked Vince Larkins with the Fair Housing Center.

"My husband, he had to work overtime so we could get the money to move," said Shirley Campbell.

After the families moved out, many of the units were rented to a ministry group called Matthew 25. It in turn, provided housing to registered sex offenders and predators, more than 60 at last count.

Attorneys say whether or not to give sex offenders a place to live without children nearby is beside the point.

Attorney Reed Colfax said, "It does not excuse the fact and certainly not permissible under the law to evict all the families with children because you decide you have a better use for your property."

At Alston Management in South Bay, the company named in the suit, no one inside could comment on the litigation which was filed within the two year statute of limitations. If the case does go to court, a trial date could be at least a year away. ..Source.. by Jon Shainman

1 comment:

George said...

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