Arlington Heights V. Metropolitan Housing Development Case Study

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Jennifer Pepson MURP 6071 October 9, 2014 Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. 429 U.S. 252 (1977) Case Facts In 1971, Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. (MHDC), a nonprofit developer, applied for a rezoning permit from the Village of Arlington Heights, Illinois for a 15-acre parcel of land. MHDC intended to develop the parcel, with federal funding, to include 20 racially integrated two-story buildings with 190 units for low and moderate income tenants. However, the parcel was zoned as R-3, the Village’s classification for single-family residential, and was surrounded by single-family homes. The request to change the parcel zoning to R-5, for multi-family housing, was denied by the Village of Arlington…show more content…
The African American community was primarily concentrated in two neighborhoods, Huntington Station and South Greenlawn. Housing Help Inc. (HHI) proposed developing a subsidized multi-family, low-income apartment building with 162 units to help address a shortage of affordable housing and promote integration. HHI determined that the goal of integration could only be achieved by locating the development outside of the neighborhoods of Huntington Station and South Greenlawn and set a goal of having 25% minority occupants. HHI found a suitable 14.8-acre site for the development in a residential neighborhood, with a 98% white population within a one-mile radius of the parcel. The site was, “…near public transportation, shopping and other services, and immediately adjacent to schools.” The only sites available for multi-family housing were in the urban renewal area in Huntington Station. HHI petitioned the town to rezone the chosen site, to accommodate this project, and when the town refused they challenged the opinion in court under Title VIII. The District Court found in favor of the town, but the Second Circuit reversed the decision and provided ‘site-specific relief’ so that the parcel would be rezoned and that the development could proceed. This judgment was later upheld by the Supreme Court, but after the decision the State of New York withdrew funding from HHI which led to further trials. Ultimately, the case was settled and the development was set to be built in

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