HUD Rejects Tent City’s Discrimination Claim Against Lakewood
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finds discrimination claims filed against Lakewood Township by Tent City to be unfounded. According to the Asbury Park Press, Tent City Founder, Minister Steven Brigham filed the complaint in May after the township allegedly removed 14 structures and several vehicles from the property, arrested Tent City residents, and dumped wood chips at road entrances. The motion also accused Township officials of spreading false and misleading information about Tent City in retaliation to their complaints alleging unfair housing practices.
A recent letter, issued by HUD's Region 11 Director of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, cited that there is no case of discrimination found.
Lakewood Township and the Tent City encampment have been in litigation for several years over efforts to close the homeless encampment off Cedar Bridge Avenue. The township has charged local nonprofit housing organization STEPS (Solutions to End Poverty Soon) to help relocate over 122 occupants who have registered as being homeless and living in the encampment..
Meanwhile, a hearing on the township’s request to have 36 non-compliant Tent City dwellers removed, has been postponed until January. 122 Tent City occupants have registered as being homeless and living in the encampment.
December 21st was National Homeless Memorial & Rally Night. There's was a Rally held in Lakewood's towns square in recognition of the event.