03/01/2007 12:00AM

Arlington settles housing lawsuit

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Arlington Park announced Thursday that it has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against the track by the United States and HOPE Fair Housing Center, an Illinois nonprofit agency.

The suit, filed in the summer of 2004, alleged that Arlington was discriminating against families when it instituted a no-children rule in some parts of its backstretch residential housing. Arlington contended it was forbidding children in certain dormitories because of dangers presented by horses, trucks, and other heavy machinery.

Under the settlement, which still needs approval by a federal court, children still would be forbidden from living in the areas Arlington deemed dangerous, but Arlington is providing additional housing by constructing another backstretch residence, a 48-unit building that has a $2.6 million budget. Construction of the new residence hall already has begun, and the project will be complete before Arlington's meet begins in May, the track said.

Also, Arlington has agreed to donate $100,000 to a local community education fund.