A group of South Inlet residents being forced to relocate are working with the federal government on a potential legal course of action.

About two dozen residents of the South Inlet section of Atlantic City met for a special meeting with representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at the Metropolitan High-Rise on South Rhode Island Avenue.

The HUD officials would not allow The Press of Atlantic City to observe the meeting, stating the meeting was designed to determine if legal action would be appropriate.

The meeting lasted more than two hours; participants didn't even leave the room when the fire alarm went off for about 15 minutes.

Warren Massey, a representative of the Atlantic City chapter of the NAACP, organized residents together to determine their options. He said the NAACP filed a civil rights complaint with HUD earlier this month on the issue.

The CRDA plans to evict 67 people from the section who live in HUD housing or receive HUD assistance. The CRDA does not have a developer in place with a specific project but hopes to develop the land to add new housing, restaurants and shops in the neighborhood surrounding the Revel.

But Massey said the agency does not have the right to tell anyone where they can live, especially since they don't own the property.

"People have the right to live where they want," he said. "This could be an ongoing attempt by CRDA to displace people and tell them where they can live."

CRDA spokeswoman Kim Butler said she was not aware of the motion and declined comment when reached Thursday evening.

Massey and residents declined to discuss any specifics on possible action or what was said at the meeting.

He said some of the people have already left their residences,believing they had no choice, but he wants the people remaining to band together and fight for their rights.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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