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Massachusetts housing authority faces discrimination lawsuit

December 22, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Federal authorities have filed an amended lawsuit that alleges a Massachusetts city’s housing authority and its executive director violated federal housing laws by discriminating against Black and Hispanic tenants and potential tenants as well as tenants with disabilities.

The original lawsuit against the Chicopee Housing Authority and Executive Director Monica Blazic filed in April alleged that the authority failed to make reasonable accommodations and discriminated against a second-floor tenant with kidney disease who wanted to move to a first-floor unit so she could receive dialysis at home.

The amended complaint filed Tuesday by the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division alleges that the defendants discriminated against Black and Hispanic tenants and potential tenants, including through the use of discrimintory statements and racial slurs.

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The defendants denied the allegations.

“The Chicopee Housing Authority and Monica Blazic deny the allegations in the strongest possible terms and we plan to vigorously defend it in court,” defense attorney Melina Garland told Masslive.com.

The lawsuit seeks an order requiring the defendants to cease discrimination and pay damages, and to accommodate residents’ disabilities.