For those who have been following the city’s long-running housing discrimination lawsuit, there is reason to celebrate.
But it’s not quite “pop the champagne bottle” time.
Thanks to an almost $1 million grant from Wayne County, the city will be able to construct the final three housing units that will then fulfill an agreement in the lawsuit for the construction of 200 housing units.
This effort has taken years to reach that goal, and at one point the city actually thought it had completed all construction. But guess what?
Someone failed to keep an accurate count of what had actually been constructed.
The last three houses are expected to be completed by December 2023.
The housing lawsuit was filed by dozens of African-American residents whose neighborhoods were targeted by city officials back in the 1960s under the guise of “urban renewal.”
Those involved in the lawsuit called it “negro removal.”
It took decades for the plaintiffs and the city to reach an agreement. So much time went by that most of the plaintiffs have since died, including Sarah Garrett.
The hold-up, all this time, was funding: the city simply couldn’t afford to pay for the new housing. But a breakthrough came in the 1990s through various federal, state and county grants.
Justice will finally be served but, shamefully, the people who were terribly wronged will never see the fruits of that justice.
Fortunately, their children and relatives can.
Posted July 29, 2022