Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bowling Green Votes Unanimously to Expand Fair Housing Protections

On Monday night, the city council of Bowling Green, Ohio voted unanimously to modify the city's fair housing ordinance to protect people based on additional protected classes. The ordinance will take effect 30 days after it was signed, however some expect the issue to arise again as a referendum, according to the Sentinel-Tribune.

Bowling Green's protected classes will include the following: race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sex, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, creed, ancestry, disability, military status, veteran status, marital status, family status, physical characteristics, HIV-status and genetic information.

The ordinance also establishes a new complaint process that focuses on conciliation. Next month, the Ohio legislature is expected to consider expanding the state's list of protected classes.

Which protected classes would you like to see in your state, city, or town? Do you think the federal law will be amended in your lifetime to include any additional protected classes?

What do you think?

Interesting to note:
  • In addition to expanding the list of protected classes, the council voted to remove "political ideology" as a protected class, for reasons unclear. Perhaps it was because of the inclusion of "creed," which is arguably more comprehensive.

  • The council also approved a similar ordinance for workplace discrimination, though not by a unanimous vote.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

Living in Newark, Ohio I would LOVE to see marital status included statewide as a protected class under the fair housing law. My large family (4 adults and 5 children) met a woman willing to rent us a home owned by her church and Monday we went to see the house (it was perfect) paid the money, and were told we could move in immediately. We had not yet signed a rental agreement (the woman showing the house is a friend of a friend and told us the lease was a formality; we received the keys to the house after paying the first months rent and deposit. stupid of us, yes?)

Tuesday, we drove out to the house and found a note on the door saying we could not enter until we signed the lease. Another member of the church lived right down the road and we were told to go there to sign the lease- and then were told we could not move in because my sister and her boyfriend are not married. This fact was known by the church congregation the night before when our money was accepted and we were given the key, and we do not understand why it became an issue after the fact. We were good enough to rent to, all 9 of us and our dog, until they found out that my sister was unmarried. Quoting the doctrine of the church they turned our family away with all of our belongings packed at home and ready to move.

Marital status HAS to be included as a protected class for people like my sister and her boyfriend. Discrimination due to marital status (or lack thereof) is antiquated and it seems criminal that someone was able to do this to us, and it was all legal. (we did receive the money we paid for the rent and deposit)