Law Supports Group Home Residents
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 19, 2003
NEWBURGH, INDIANA--The eight men that recently moved into a new home in the Triple Crown Subdivision will be able to stay in their new neighborhood, not because their new neighbors are welcoming them, but because the law protects them.
Members of the Triple Crown Homeowners Association, whose homes sell in the $130,000 to $160,000 range, and a nearby subdivision with homes above $220,000, showed up at the March 12 Warrick County Plan Commission meeting to protest the group home.
The homeowners said they were worried that the men, who have developmental disabilities, might be violent or be sex offenders. Mostly, however, they were worried that the group home would bring down the property values of their homes. The neighbors, many of whom had not yet met the men, insisted that they are not prejudiced against people with disabilities.
The neighbors learned, however, that the men do not have such histories. They also learned that Warrick County zoning ordinances restricting group homes are in direct conflict with Indiana law which prohibits discrimination against facilities for people with developmental disabilities.
"The lady that lived next door to them (where the men lived before) didn't want them to move out because they were such good neighbors," Linda Cotton, the mother of one of the group home residents, told Warrick News. "She said she was afraid of what was going to be moving in now that they are gone."