Mount Holly, New Jersey-feels like an earthquake.
When Nancy Lopez was making breakfast, the machine began to half
Attached house next door, tear it to pieces and pat the tiles on the wall of her bathroom.
"I thought my family wouldn't stay up late," Lopez said . ".
"It was the worst day of my life.
Lopez moved here in 1987 and is one of the few remaining residents of Mount Holly Gardens, a community that no longer exists but could fundamentally reshape civil rights laws.
In 2003, the town's leaders believed that the crime in the garden made the home of many black and Latino families irreparable.
They designed a plan to buy aging houses, raze them to the ground and replace them with higher houses
A house that residents cannot afford.
Neighbors boycotted and joined in parallel to sue as citizens of Mount Holly Gardens.
In court, they questioned the township's designation of the community as a damaged community and accused Holly mountain of racial discrimination against residents.
Even if this discrimination is not intentional, they say, the reconstruction project will have a very different impact on the town's only black and Latino-majority community, destroying their hard-earned houses.
The town denied that race had anything to do with the decision, saying it was the last effort to get rid of Mount Holly crime and improve the economy.
More importantly, they say, rebuilding is in the best interests of the garden residents themselves, even if they are not aware of it.
"We have to do something to save the people of this community," said a former township government official . " He will only talk anonymously due to ongoing litigation.
"That's why we did it.
Not doing anything is discrimination.
"Ten years later, there was no redevelopment of the garden, with a debt of $18 million.
Between litigation, payment developers, the collapse of the real estate market and the emptying of houses, the rest is half
Ghost city was flattened.
But the dispute is more important than the fate of the remaining dozens of residents. On Dec.
Fourth, the Supreme Court will hear an oral debate by the citizens of Holly Hill over the town of Holly Hill and then decide whether the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on different influences.
If Holly Hill residents fail, the Supreme Court, led by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, will destroy another pillar of civil rights law.
If they win, the pillar will stand still.
There is another possibility: reconciliation.
After 10 years of litigation, sources involved in negotiations between the town and residents said they were close to an 11-hour breakthrough.
A solution would end the town's long and sad chapter and deprive the Supreme Court conservatives of the opportunity to undermine the Fair Housing Act.
Different inequality discrimination in housing has been closely triggered --
Concerns about the integration of schools and similar resistance.
Communities across the country-not just in the south-are divided by color lines enforced by realtors, lenders and government officials.
Like schools, communities across the United States stubbornly resist integration: when black people get the means to move next door, white people leave.
The Fair Housing Act should have helped to change this situation, but it was difficult to achieve in 1968.
Congress will only pass the Fair Housing Act against Martin Luther King. ’s dead body.
A week before the law passed, the death of the King gave Congress a political momentum that could not be ignored.
President Lyndon Johnson pushed for the bill, but his successor, Richard Nixon, did not support it.
George Romney, his Minister of Housing and Urban Development, is a true believer.
Romney is trying to use the law as a task to break house segregation and turn the government around for years --
White flight subsidy
Nixon knew he was going to face strong opposition from white people in the suburbs, and their votes put him on stage, so he drove Mitt Romney's father out.
The first disagreement set the tone for a conflict between liberals and conservatives about the meaning and purpose of the Fair Housing Act.
Over the years, both the government and the courts have recognized discrimination based on different influences.
The Obama administration has accepted legal concepts of different influences and used it to impose huge fines on banks that they say discriminate against minority borrowers.
It also regulates financial institutions to prevent them from doing so.
This infuriated the big banks and their political allies, who were not interested in the fate of this small New Jersey town, rather than making sure that the different effects had become past.
They hope the Supreme Court will benefit them.
Last summer, at a crucial part of the repeal of the Voting Rights Act, conservatives in the court made it clear that laws aimed at correcting discrimination were out of place and that a relic of an ancient past was easily discarded.
Garden dwellers do not know that fighting for their neighbors may become the next chapter of the civil rights ideological struggle.
They just find a way to keep their home.
Photo article: The end of Mount Holly: a lost "town basically cleans up its biggest, mostly African --
"The American, Latino community, just wipe it out and throw it away," Pomar said . ".
"It's hard to see a completely different impact in this regard.
When Leona Wright moved to the garden in her 1970 s, it still looked like a garden. The 95-
The one-year-old grandmother who lived alone still managed to keep her Lawn perfect, and even with the rot, she boarded the building attached to her side.
Flowers sprout in pots made of old tires.
The grass in the short well looks like someone combed it with a comb.
She raised two sons here.
Once a dense brick-lined residential community, after World War II and the Korean War, the gardens became the place where the American working class owned houses.
Garden dwellers come from places like Bronx, Queens and Puerto Rico, who want to experience the quiet suburban life they can't afford elsewhere.
Mount Holly is located in Burlington County and the median income of residents in the county is close to $2000, according to the 60,000 census.
About half in the garden.
But close neighbors.
Parents can look outside and see their children playing and know who to call when someone's child shows up.
But over the years, the garden has become a place. of-
Towners will do their dirt.
People who try to buy or sell drugs or sex will scroll through and do so in the eyes of residents.
On 1999, a truck driver who came to look for drugs was robbed.
His partner drove the tractor in panic.
Almost cut him in half.
This is the worst thing Steven Martin has seen in years working at Mount Holly police.
"A lot of 'problems' come from other towns.
They are not our citizens who are there day after day, "said Martin, the current police chief.
Garden residents form a non-
Profits are 2000 Mount Holly.
They bought and renovated several houses from the absentee landlord, and they were grateful when the police strengthened their presence on the submarinestation nearby.
Township leaders feel that this is not enough.
"Our crime rate or crime rate index is very high," Martin said . " Mainly because of the garden.
Mount Holly has been studying redevelopment of gardens since the 1980 century.
A report commissioned by the Township Council estimated that the cost of purchasing and renovating homes was approximately $13 million.
But by 2000, the town began to have the idea of getting rid of the garden completely and to make a new plan.
"If you talk to people from other parts of town, they're excited to get rid of an area where there's a lot of crime, a lot of shooting," said Thomas Gibson, a former mayor and town council member.
However, the residents of these gardens are sure that the town really wants to get rid of them.
Township leaders are trying to reassure angry residents.
"Tonight is not the end of a block, tonight is the beginning of a new block," and --
Council member Brooke tizwell assured the community that, according to the 2006 survey of 300 houses in the garden, the median mortgage fee paid by the owner per month was $450, the median mortgage fee paid for renting r is about $700.
The newly planned community will be a mix of ownership and rental properties with a maximum of 520 homes.
According to 2008 complaints from residents, the price of the house is about $200,000, of which 1-
The bedroom rental unit is about $1,200 per month. Fifty-
Six housing units will be set aside for affordable housing.
"The town thinks these people are not rich enough or good enough to own the property they own," said Ron Chen . " A former New Jersey Public Advocate wrote a report criticizing Mount Holly for how to deal with the reconstruction project.
New Jersey is a small state where local governments rely heavily on property taxes.
Driven by the desire to revitalize urban areas, towns try to seize the neighborhoods that are considered damaged through commercial television footage, and turn them into polished theme parks similar to the contemporary version of the 1950 s.
Incentives are huge: once real estate and towns are re-developed, developers pay lower taxes and end up with a higher tax base.
However, before revitalization, the destruction of existing communities needs to be announced.
Towns can then use expropriation rights to force homeowners to sell their property at a fair price set by law, and developers can pay lower taxes on the property.
Mount Holly did not use the right to requisition, but the name of blight and the threat of the right to requisition ensured that the town was the only place they could sell.
M was hired in town.
James Mali is a lawyer at Holly Hill and is in charge of the garden project.
This is not his first reconstruction.
Maley, a Evangelist, turned the poor community into a place to attract professionals to raise their families outside the big cities but not too far away. In the mid-
In his 1990 s, he led an effort to re-develop a dilapidated housing project called Sutton tower in Collins Wood, New Jersey, a half
He was worried that empty buildings would turn the town into Camden.
As suburban New Jersey is scattered outside Philadelphia, the possibility of ending like Camden, America's deadliest big city, is unprecedented
The redevelopment of Sutton Tower was a huge success for Collins wood, and a Maley tried to repeat it in other parts of the town.
By 2002, local media called hip Collingswood "Mayberry on the edge ".
"This is the revitalization that Holly Hill's leadership sought when he was hired.
In 2007, Maley tried to convince the New Jersey Supreme Court that the local government could confiscate the property simply because "the property was not fully produced or did not add economic benefits to the region", but failed. ” (
Chen joked that it would be reasonable to re-develop the governor's residence).
In an interview with msnbc, Maley said the rebuilding was "huge for us ".
"It helps keep our business community alive and our main streets alive.
"Maley is a Philadelphia native with an accent that goes with it, and even if he successfully carries out legal practice, he is still the mayor of Collingwood.
His office was packed with political memorabilia and Philadelphia people.
On his desk, he put a baseball on a piece of marble.
The inscription reads: "Sometimes you just have to fight hard.
"Maley said he felt sorry for the rest of the garden residents, but the different standards of impact-or at least as the Holley Hill Garden residents hoped-had to do so.
"It takes the game to the table," Maley said, which is not a factor.
"There must be something with some degree of intent to discriminate.
For example, Maley is referring to Frank Rizzo I like.
Rizzo is long.
The mayor urged residents to "vote for white people" during his last failed campaign ".
"He's like saying outside, 'Let the blacks out.
Like, he, you know, he just said it out loud.
"So what if people don't say it out loud?
"The greatest universities in our country discriminate every day.
Maley shrugged his shoulders and said, "some discrimination is OK.
"There are only certain kinds of things that are not good.
"The first thing about the demolition of the town is the playground, or at least that's what Nancy Lopez remembers.
Then the sidewalk was torn off, then the townhouse.
Lopez didn't see most of it happening-she usually works on the local Head Start project or on the evening of Taco Bell as a cashier.
"I have no neighbors," Lopez said . "
"The house in front of me is gone.
The house next to me is gone. "She said.
Nancy Lopez Mount Holly Garden, New Jersey
Teru Kuwayama of MSNBCThe semi-random
The house standing next to the open space is like a missing mouth.
The remaining children in the neighborhood cut the bike through the gap.
The bones and internal organs of the destroyed buildings rot in wooded areas around the garden.
Still, the remaining homeowners combed their front yard spotless, as if ignoring the name of the disease near them.
The sides of some of the remaining townhouses have been sealed with plaster.
On other people, the workers only hit a tar on the wall, which made them vulnerable to the severe winter in the northeast.
It was an ongoing battle for about 70 people who stayed.
They said that the town's refusal to provide services such as lighting, plumbing repairs and garbage collection to the garden exacerbated the conditions they later thought the community had been damaged in order to re-develop.
Residents will wake up and see empty houses where they are crushed.
The town claims to bend backwards in order to be fair to the residents.
But from the very beginning it misled them about the opportunity to stay at home.
Mayor Scattergood said at the 2002 planning committee meeting, "No one, no one, no one on the Holly Hill town committee is interested in using the garden as a community to eliminate, no one is interested in taking away the people who make up the core of the community.
A planning committee member added that while they cannot guarantee that residents will be able to stay at home, they will eventually get a better home than the one you have now.
A year later, the town completed a plan that clearly would destroy the neighborhood, and few of the residents now have the opportunity to return to a better home.
The township provided $15 000 to $20,000
Interest loan to homeowner, $7,500 to rent r for purchase.
This is actually more than required by New Jersey law, and most residents agree.
But, as the township leaders have promised, it is not enough for the "community core" to stay or come back.
By 2008, 70 of the more than 300 houses in the garden had been destroyed.
The house left was damaged or submerged by damaged pipes.
The sidewalk was smashed and the sides of the rest of the house were covered with tar or plaster.
Most of the residents of the garden are very long. time renters.
One person went to the hospital and came back to find out that her house was sold and then boarded the plane.
But others, such as Santos Cruz, bought the house a few years ago, hoping they could spend the rest of their lives in the garden.
Cruz's anger is still fresh in his memory of the demolition.
He angrily pointed out that when the machine destroyed the house next to him, the part of his roof was torn off.
There was a brick hanging on the side of his house, like a scabs.
Cruz said: "I paid $40,000 and sank another $10,000 and fixed it as soon as I bought it.
"Now you pay me less than I do?
He said he considered buying a house in the future, but the price was too high.
Eventually, the town had no money to relocate those who might want to leave.
"You have a minority, not a majority, and come out and talk about how they feel they are being used," Gibson said . " He insisted that the rest of the residents were only there because of illness --
Served by their lawyer, pomma.
"I just think that under the assumption that there is a golden goose at the end of the rainbow, some people become her customers.
"SuitPomar was awarded the wind of the development project in 2002, just as the town began to disclose its garden plan.
"Olga pomma is a very strong advocate," said Ron Chen, a former New Jersey public advocate.
"She is often very active in the struggle against the use of the right of expropriation to replace existing residents.
She crowded into a local church and explained to the residents that they could leave or try to rebuild.
She and the New Jersey legal services department will represent them if they choose to fight.
The battle did not go well at first.
The residents filed a lawsuit in 2003, but a New Jersey court stood on the side of the town and dismissed "immature" allegations of discrimination.
In the second action, the district court ruled that there was no evidence of intentional discrimination in the town.
"We didn't win in court, that's when the residents started to leave," Pomar said . ".
But on 2011, pomma took a break with the residents.
When the United States Court of Appeal ruled that different effects could violate the Fair Housing Act, the residents were partially supported.
The town appealed to the Supreme Court and agreed to hear the case on June.
The 10-year lawsuit and $18 million in bonds-nearly a million of which went to Maley's company, Mount Mountain was out of money.
Demolition has stopped and township residents are tired of the project and the tax increases that follow.
This is not a must.
"There has never been a time in the past when Parliament had common courtesy to sit down and discuss options with the residents of the garden," Rich DiFolco said . ", On 2012, he was elected a member of the Township Committee on the platform for the settlement of the garden proceedings.
Maley is considered to be the driving force for the town to play hard balls.
Council members in the past insisted that they were always willing to negotiate, that the demands of the residents-essentially a house for a House-were unreasonable and that the townships could not afford it.
Pomar, one of the few involved in the case from start to finish, said Xinxiang seemed more reasonable and that a settlement before the Supreme Court heard the case was possible.
Despite renewed optimism, the situation remains unchanged.
In the new development, the Garden residents asked for a home.
But Township sources believe that they are unlikely to afford a fixed-income property tax even if they just get the deed.
Over the past 10 years, more and more elderly homeowners have gathered to discuss options and hear from pomma about ongoing litigation.
The last stop was not made up of a mob or shed who protested on public land.
They are old people and they work all their lives to earn the house they own.
They are also eager to settle down-but only if the village gives them the treatment they deserve.
"I won't leave," Lopez said . ".
"They will pull me out of my head. ”