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?