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Garner seeks to settle suit over halfway house

Posted January 10, 2011

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— Garner has agreed to pay $114,000 to settle a suit with the U.S. Justice Department over the town's refusal to increase the capacity of a halfway house for recovering addicts, authorities said Monday.

The government sued Garner and the town's Board of Adjustment in May 2009 after officials refused to consider requests from Oxford House Inc., the nonprofit that runs the halfway house, to increase the number of men allowed to stay there from six to eight.

The suit alleged the town violated the Fair Housing Act, which requires that reasonable accommodations be made for people with disabilities, including addictions.

The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge, includes a $105,000 payment to Oxford House and $9,000 to the government as a civil penalty. Garner also must allow up to eight men at the halfway house, authorities said.

In connection with the proposed settlement, Garner officials last month amended the town's zoning code to establish a procedure to address future requests for reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act.

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  • tom73b Jan 11, 2011

    As a matter of record, when a person resides in a halfway house, or 3/4 house (oxford houses) the normal landlord tenant laws concerning evictions are null. If the addict is asked to leave they have to go right then....... not 30 days later, they are renting the bed........ not the house. They also sign waivers to this effect......... when they are accepted into the house...........Tom...:0

  • DeM Jan 10, 2011

    Unfortunately for them, some of the most needy members of society have trouble finding housing. Unfortunately for others, addicts can be difficult to live around. I don't so much mind the ADA for ensuring that housing is available, and the ADA is written so that disruptive tenants can be evicted. But that takes time, and some addicts are downright SCARY. Eviction should be easier and faster, instead of the 30+ days that it takes currently.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jan 10, 2011

    I should be able to smoke at work, in my office, at my desk, because of my disability.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jan 10, 2011

    This is a crock, the fair housing act should be dumped.

  • rednek Jan 10, 2011

    IMHO. addiction is a NOT a handicap; addiction is something someone does VOLUNTARILLY, because they WANT to! kinda like someone that chops his foot off intentionally or shoots himself in the foot being handicapped. Handicapped is something that happens to a person they DO NOT have qny control over.

  • watchmewin Jan 10, 2011

    so if im addicted to cigarettes and I can't smoke in bars would that be discrimination againt people with disabilities

  • GravyPig Jan 10, 2011

    "Addiction is a disability??" - Fat Cat

    Yepper. Under the ADA laws, addiction is considered a disability. I belive is was done this way to prevent discrimination against addicts much like it was designed to protect discrimination against those with handicaps etc....

  • oleguy Jan 10, 2011

    Well you all wanted change, The Govt. is taking away our rights more and more every day... We have an Oasis, Half way house near us, These people walk the streets, and pan handle all day long,,, I over heard 3 talking one day about the free cell phones, and their minutes, One guy didnt know enough people to call and use up his minutes, of course his buddies knew how to boost his usage.... What a waste of tax payers money.. I tell you all now It aint gonna get any better,, We will be a third world country in less than 50 years

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jan 10, 2011

    I understand why Garner should pay the $9,000 penalty. But why the cash payout to the halfway house? Their legal expenses? Come on WRAL, tell us the whole story.

  • fatcat11 Jan 10, 2011

    Addiction is a disability??

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