3/24/16 Justice Delayed
It is also home to the nation’s longest housing discrimination case.
For nearly half a century, Hamtramck has been dragging its feet to comply with a judge’s order to remedy a problem city officials created.
In the early 1960s, the city used federal money earmarked for urban renewal. But, instead of improving blighted areas, city officials began demolishing low-income black neighborhoods. According to court documents, city bureaucrats were systematically forcing blacks out of the city.
The court found the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development — a co-defendant in the case — was also liable. The judge presiding over the 1968 lawsuit accused HUD officials of approving what he called a “negro removal” plan.
Then for decades, the city did absolutely nothing. Plaintiffs died off. Some descendants of the plaintiffs who were school children when the lawsuit was filed are now retired adults.
Using a combination of federal, state and local monies [here, here], the city recently finished construction of the 430 units. The granddaughter of a displaced couple — who’s now dead — moved into the last home.