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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
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Developer Says Racial Fears Blocked Project

SHREVEPORT, La. (CN) - The Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission of Caddo Parish allegedly refused to approve a proposed affordable housing project on discriminatory grounds, after citizens and city council members voiced concerns of "black migration" and an attempt to convert West Shreveport into "the next Queensboro," a predominantly black neighborhood.

Urban Housing of America Inc. (UHA) filed an application to build single-family detached homes in a 44-lot subdivision, according to its federal lawsuit.

The planning commission approved the proposal, but the city council overturned that decision after citizen voiced their disapproval at a public meeting.

"Council members clearly understood the racial connotations of the objections, with one Council member observing that the substance of the objections was 'here come those black folks,'" the lawsuit claims.

Nevertheless, UHA says it tweaked the proposal and reapplied for approval.

But this time, the planning commission denied UHA's application. UHA says the decision was discriminatory.

"The plan was wholly compliant with the applicable requirements and there were no objections asserted that were not thinly concealed race-based stereotypes," the plaintiff claims.

It is represented by Pamela Jones.

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