suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted. They have therefore met the second prong of the preliminary injunction standard.
C. Harm to Defendant
47. As noted above in our discussion of the Fair Housing Act's reasonable accommodation requirement, we search the record in vain for any showing by the defendant as to how the granting of the requested injunction will harm the defendant. Any threat to the residential character of the neighborhood is minimal at most and is overwhelmingly outweighed by the potential for harm to the individual plaintiffs if the injunction is denied and they are forced to leave Oxford House.
D. Public Interest
48. Through its enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments of 1988 and the Federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Congress has expressed a strong public policy favoring an end to discrimination in housing on the basis of handicap and favoring the establishment of housing programs for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Indeed, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act's provision encouraging the establishment of revolving loan funds by states to make start-up loans to help establish group homes for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics was based specifically on the model of Oxford House. See 134 Cong. Rec. E 3732 (daily ed. Nov. 10, 1988) (remarks of Rep. Madigan). Thus, Congress has directly endorsed Oxford House itself as an organization worthy of public support because of its role in helping to stem the national epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse. This public policy is further reflected in enactments of the New Jersey Legislature supporting programs that assist recovering alcoholics and substance abusers. See N.J.S.A. 26:2BB-1 et seq.
49. Viewing these clear expressions of legislative support for the goal of reducing drug addiction and alcoholism against the backdrop of the current atmosphere of overwhelming public concern over the impact of drugs on our society, as reflected by the much publicized federally-declared "war on drugs," we would be hard-pressed to deny the significance of the public interest in supporting efforts like Oxford House to assist in and encourage the recovery of alcoholics and drug addicts. See Instant Air Freight Co. v. C.F. Air Freight, Inc., 882 F.2d 797, 803 (3d Cir. 1989) (legislative expressions of public policy through statutes may be relied on to define "public interest" for purposes of preliminary injunction analysis). Accordingly, we hold that the public interest factor weighs heavily in favor of the issuance of a preliminary injunction in this case.
The above constitutes the court's conclusions of law in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 52.
Therefore, based on the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law, we find that all four preliminary injunction standards have been satisfied, and we therefore find sufficient grounds for the issuance of a preliminary injunction, enjoining the Township of Cherry Hill from interfering with the occupancy of the single family house at 911 South Kings Highway by Oxford House, Inc. and John Does One through Seven. The accompanying order has been entered.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 799 F. Supp. 450.
JOHN F. GERRY, CHIEF JUDGE
DATED: September 10, 1992
ORDER - September 10, 1992, Filed
This matter having come before the court on an Order to Show Cause why a preliminary injunction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a) should not issue enjoining the defendant according to the demands of the Verified Complaint until a final hearing of this action, and the court having heard the evidence presented by the parties and considered the arguments of the parties, and for good cause shown;
It is, this 10th day of September, 1992, hereby ORDERED that the Township of Cherry Hill, its officers, employees, agents, attorneys and successors are ENJOINED pendente lite from:
1) enforcing the provisions of the Township of Cherry Hill zoning ordinance against the plaintiffs in connection with the rental of the premises of 911 South Kings Highway; or
2) interfering with the operation of 911 South Kings Highway as a home for recovering alcoholics and substance abusers, interfering in any way with the right of the plaintiffs to reside in those premises, or otherwise interfering with the rights of recovering alcoholics or substance abusers to reside at 911 South Kings Highway.
JOHN F. GERRY, CHIEF JUDGE