- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - An investigation into the revocation of a permit for a homeless shelter in Lexington has been turn over to the U.S. Justice Department.

According to a March 10 letter provided to the Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1y0YBYW), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent the case to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division for review.

The nonprofit Lexington Fair Housing Council filed the complaint in 2012 with HUD after the city revoked a permit for the Community Inn on Winchester Road. The agency alleged the city’s action violated federal fair-housing laws, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status and disability

The complaint says many homeless people are minorities and therefore are protected under the federal law.

City officials have said the permit was properly revoked because the Community Inn applied for a condition use permit to operate as a church, not a homeless shelter.

Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for city government, declined to comment on the development.

HUD spokesman Joseph Phillips did not provide further details about why the complaint was turned over. He said only that the “DOJ will review the complaint and take appropriate action.”

Meanwhile, Lexington Fair Housing Council Director Art Crosby says the organization continues to work with the Community Inn and the city to resolve the complaint.

“I am still optimistic that this can be settled,” Crosby said.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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