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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Victim Fair Housing Act' Aims to Distinguish Between Undesirable Tenants and Innocent Victims

Each year, it's estimated that millions of men and women in the United States fall victim to domestic violence. When such a victim lives in rental housing, a violent incident or series of incidents could force the tenant onto the street. Not all landlords are interested in distinguishing between perpetrator and victim but simply view violent acts on the premises as a ground for eviction. As a result, a tenant who becomes a domestic violence victim often suffers in a second way, losing her home due to circumstances beyond her control.

Wisconsin has decided to legislate a hopeful end to this nightmare by passing a "Victim Fair Housing Act." The Act, which went on the books earlier this month, amends the state's fair housing law to ban housing discrimination based on someone's "status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking." Most importantly, the law offers such victims a defense against eviction, according to a report from The Post-Crescent.

Are you in favor of Wisconsin's legislative measure, and do you think it will prove effective in addressing this issue? Should the federal Fair Housing Act be amended to protect victims of domestic violence from losing their housing?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Stephanie Angelo said...

I'm in favor. When it comes to housing there are other forms of re-victimizing DV victims as well. I know a woman who was brutally cut several times by her husband and her mother was stabbed to death during the same altercation. The landlord refused to make an insurance claim to replace the blood soaked carpet. This woman had to scrape up the money to replace the carpeting in the whole apartment because the fight, and the blood went from room to room.
It just made her emotional and financial suffering that much worse.

Stephanie Angelo, SPHR