Rochester wants federal housing lawsuit dismissed

Two people suing over construction of new downtown apartment complex.

Posted: Aug 10, 2019 3:27 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Rochester wants a federal lawsuit over a new downtown apartment complex dismissed.

James Campbell and Sarah Louisell are suing the city and the Rochester Economic Development Authority over the demolition of several buildings to make way for a new 100+ unit apartment complex in the 500 block of 3rd Avenue SW. The suit claims the project violated federal law by disproportionally affecting racial and ethnic minorities and people with a disability and that city and authority officials refused to provide relocation assistance to Campbell, Louisell, and other residents.

In its response filed in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, the city and development authority deny most of the plaintiffs’ claims. It states the city and development authority was not required to provide the requested assistance because this was a redevelopment project by a private company. The response says many of those who moved out of their homes did so on agreements made with the private developer. It asks the judge to dismiss the lawsuit because the facts do not plausibly support its allegations.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for September 12.

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