Another city challenged over ordinance aimed at banning inexpensive mobile homes | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Another city challenged over ordinance aimed at banning inexpensive mobile homes

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge TARGETED: Civil rights group says these homes have been targeted under a Newark ordinance aimed at forcing low-cost mobile homes out of the city. - EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW
  • Equal Justice Under Law
  • TARGETED: Civil rights group says these homes have been targeted under a Newark ordinance aimed at forcing low-cost mobile homes out of the city.
A group that successfully sued McCrory over its effort ban inexpensive mobile homes has filed a similar complaint against the city of Newark.

Equal Justice Under Law, based in Washington, announced a new civil complaint over the Newark ordinance that bans single-wide mobile homes worth less than $25,000 and double-wides worth less than $35,000. Failure to comply can bring fines up to $500 a day.

Equal Justice, a civil rights organization, says such ordinances heighten a problem in finding or providing affordable housing.

Of those affected are Veneda and Robert Marshall a retired married couple. In order to supplement their social security income, they purchase used mobile homes, which they fix up and rent out throughout Newark. With a vacant lot available on Thomas Creek Drive, the couple decided to place a double-wide mobile home there but was prevented from doing so because it did not appraise at $35,000 despite dozens of interested responses from the online rental listing.

The Marshall’s are committed to providing affordable and safe housing to local residents. None of their four properties has ever been cited for a health or safety violation. This arbitrary ordinance is preventing a retired couple on a limited income to utilize the property and resources they have available to them, while further exacerbating the need for affordable housing citywide.

Executive Director of Equal Justice Under Law Phil Telfeyan says, “No city should ban residents simply for being too poor to live in an expensive home. Newark's exclusionary and discriminatory practice contradicts our values as a society and the basic principles of fairness embodied in our Constitution.”
After Equal Justice sued McCrory, it settled by repealing the ordinance, forgave fines and paid $20,000 in a settlement and attorney fees.

The lawsuit was filed Monday. As yet, the city hasn't responded. I've sent an email to the mayor seeking comment.

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