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Local News in Brief : Hawthorne Loses Ruling on Housing

In a precedent-setting case involving Hawthorne, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that cities must follow a 1985 agreement allowing low-income housing to replace homes destroyed by construction of the Century Freeway.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Hawthorne violated the federal Fair Housing Act and equal protection provisions of the California Constitution when it tried to block construction of a 96-unit apartment complex in 1985.

The appeal court action gave strength to the 1981 agreement requiring 3,700 units of replacement housing for families displaced along the 15-mile freeway corridor between Los Angeles International Airport and Norwalk.

Other cities affected by the decision include Los Angeles, Downey, Inglewood and Lynwood.

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The appeals court ruling upheld a decision by former U.S. District Judge Harry Pregerson that the five-member Hawthorne City Council violated constitutional protections of low-income people destined for the 96-unit Kornblum apartments.


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