DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — The battle over whether former drug addicts and alcoholics, under the non-profit Oxford House, have a home in the Circle City is ongoing, with the city of Dothan filing a new motion.
The city of Dothan is asking a U.S. District Court to dismiss the lawsuit. In the lawsuit, the Oxford House is claiming the city of Dothan violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to provide utility services to its houses within the city.
According to Dothan City’s Attorney, Len White, the Oxford House will have an opportunity to respond to the recent filing. If they do, a judge will then decide whether or not the city has made its case to have the lawsuit dismissed.
The city asked Oxford House to obtain a no-cost business license. Paperwork that would require the group to make disclosures about their operations, something the Oxford House claims goes against the FHA, is what started the battle.
The Oxford Houses’ are homes for former drug addicts and alcoholics. The non-profit claims these individuals are considered disabled.
There are no supervisors at the Oxford House, which means people with past substance abuse addictions, some with prior convictions, run a self-run and self-supported road to recovery.
Two different Oxford Houses are in Dothan, the first houses eleven women and is on Fairmont Street and Westover Drive.
The other is in the Woodlands neighborhood on the west side of Dothan. It was bought by the non-profit in December. A sale many residents in the neighborhood tried to stop. They claim there were too many unanswered questions regarding Oxford Houses’ operations.
The Woodlands location houses a total of eight men.
The city says they are confident that the judge will rule in their favor, and if that does happen, the Oxford House wouldn’t be forced to shut its doors. Instead, they’d be required to provide either a business license or have an individual’s name be used for utility billing purposes, something the non-profit has been against.