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Claim brought by NJ Tent City founder rejected

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A claim of civil rights violations filed by the founder of a homeless encampment near the Jersey shore has been rejected.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has rejected claims that officials in Lakewood were taking actions to purposefully make life at the camp difficult.

The claim was filed by the Rev. Steve Brigham of the Lakewood Outreach Ministries, who is a founder and resident of the so-called “Tent City” in Lakewood.

Brigham filed a housing discrimination claim in May 2012 arguing the town wrongfully removed 14 structures from Tent City and had taking various steps to try and harass and evict the campers.

HUD said in a Nov. 20 letter to the township that the claims are unfounded.