Sussex County settles fair housing claim

Sussex County officials have settled a fair housing claim with Diamond State Community Trust through the Department of Justice and the Housing and Urban Development agency.


The agreements were made with both federal agencies during a Nov. 27th executive session with County Council.

The agreement settles a 2010 claim that the county wrongfully denied the approval of the Trust’s New Horizons subdivision in Laurel. The wrongful denial was based on what the Trust believed were violations of the Fair Housing Act.

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Under the agreement, the county admits no wrongdoing and no fines or penalties have been assessed against the county. However, the county’s insurance will pay a $750,000 settlement in the case.

Additionally, the county agreed to name a fair housing compliance officer who will work with the Sussex County Community Development and Housing Department which administers an annual amount of $1 million in federal grants to help rehabilitate low and moderate owner-occupied housing and sewer connections and $70,000 toward housing rehabilitation costs.

In the coming weeks the county will be working with HUD to develop and affordable housing plan to strengthen its equal housing opportunities.

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