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Government Funded Black Influx Into White Neighborhood Raise Tensions

Police sent 315 complaints about subsidized tenants to the Contra CostaHousing Authority, which manages the federal program in the city, andurged the agency to evict many of them for lease violations such asdrug use or gun possession.

As more and more black renters began movinginto this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago,neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls,blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings ofschoolchildren.

In2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed aspecial crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, andauthorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidizedhousing.

Now thatpolice unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege thecity of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.

Across the country, similar tensions havesimmered when federally subsidized renters escaped run-down housingprojects and violent neighborhoods by moving to nicer communities insuburban Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Butthe friction in Antioch is “hotter than elsewhere,” said U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesman Larry Bush.

Anincreasing number of poor families receiving federal rental assistancehave been moving here in recent years, partly because of the housingcrisis.

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2008-12-30

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