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US studying lot-size rules as cause of minority curb

The Justice Department is studying suburban zoning laws that restrict residential lot sizes to see whether they exclude most minorities from buying homes, the Justice Department's civil-rights chief, Drew Days III, said Sunday. Laws requiring lots to be minimum sizes -- in some cases ranging from half an acre to three acres or larger -- may be discriminatory and push housing costs too high for most minorities to afford new homes, Mr. Days, an assistant attorney general, said.

He suggested that lawsuits threatening to cut off federal Community Development Act funds could be filed against suburbs that restrict lot sizes, mainly in new communities receiving millions of dollars in federal aid.

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