The Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. (MHDC) (plaintiff) applied for a permit from the Village of Arlington Heights (Village) (defendant) to rezone a fifteen-acre parcel of land from its zoning classification as a single-family use to a multiple-family use classification. MHDC planned to build a racially-integrated complex featuring nearly two hundred townhouse units marketed to low and moderate income tenants. The Village denied the permit request, and MHDC brought suit in federal district court alleging the denial of the permit was racially discriminatory and violated the Fourteenth Amendment and Fair Housing Act of 1968. The district court upheld the permit denial, but the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.