Un-Fair Housing?

August 18, 2003. -- Posted at 7:51 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --The federal Justice Department says Little Rock violated the Fair Housing Act in 2001. The department cites the city's denial of a permit for a prefabricated home in a white neighborhood, saying it happened because the applicants were black.

But city planning commission chairman Obray Nunnally Junior says the idea that the commission would consider an applicant's race is absolutely preposterous.

Nunnally is black himself, and said he's very sensitive to the need to treat people fairly. The Justice Department has asked the city to enter into a consent agreement that would have the city's planning practices monitored. It also calls for the city to pay the couple who were denied the permit 85-thousand dollars, and the federal government 45-thousand dollars.

Chief deputy city attorney Bill Mann said the proposal is under review, out of a spirit of co-operation.