Huntsville City Council To Ask For Legal Opinion of Housing Authority Bill

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Thursday night the Huntsville City Council approved a resolution that gives the city attorney the authority to ask the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for a legal opinion.

The opinion is about a new state law passed during the most recent legislative session.  SB205 requires the Huntsville Housing Authority to give a 30 day public notice if it intends to purchase a piece of property.   The bill stems from a 2009 incident where the HHA purchased a piece of property in south Huntsville that many residents said caught them off guard.

The HHA, the city council and other organizations have expressed concern about the law.   They are worried the federal government might sue the city if it enforces the law, on grounds that the law  impedes fair housing.

Proponents of the law argue the bill does not impede the HHA in anyway.  The say the law still gives the HHA the ability to purchase land, but simply requires the 30 day notice beforehand.

The city attorney will now reach out to the federal government and ask point blank if they might sue Huntsville.  There is no time frame on when the city might hear back from HUD.