The City of Chattanooga found itself the subject of a federal lawsuit after allegedly refusing to allow four individuals with disabilities to rent a home.
According to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, “the City discriminated on the basis of disability by refusing to allow four people with disabilities to reside together in a single-family home in the City, under the same terms and conditions as residents without disabilities. Through its action and implementation of its zoning ordinance, the City has engaged in a discriminatory housing practice and denied rights granted by the FHA and the ADA, and such denial raises an issue of general public importance.”
The suit goes on to explain that Quality Lifestyle, a non-profit organization based in Chattanooga, helped four non-related individuals find a home in the city in June 2020. The organization was contracted by the Mental Health Cooperative to assist individuals with a transition into a more stable lifestyle.
The four, all of whom live with mental illness, put in an application to rent a four-bedroom home on the 1100 block of South Greenwood Avenue. The home is located in an R1 zoning district, meaning it is a residential dwelling intended for a single family.