A FAIR HOUSING ORDINANCE FOR THE CITY OF WABASSO MINNESOTA
WHEREAS, the City of Wabasso Minnesota (hereinafter referred to as the “City”) desires to affirm compliance with Federal and State Fair Housing legislation; and
WHEREAS, the City desires to resolve Fair Housing discrimination complaints violations locally;
THEREFORE, the following is set forth as the Wabasso Fair Housing Ordinance:
Section 1. Declaration of Fair Housing Policy: Status with regard to public assistance. Discrimination with regard to housing on the basis of race, sex, welfare, peace and safety of the community. Persons subject to such discrimination suffer depressed living conditions, and create conditions which endanger the public peace and order. The public policy of the City of Wabasso is decleared to be to foster equal opportunity for all to obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing without regard to their race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, disability status, sex and strictly in accord with their individual merits as human beings. It is also the policy of the city to protect all persons from all unfounded charges of discrimination.
Section 2. Definitions: For the purposes of this ordinance the following terms, phrases, words and their deviations, shall have the meaning given herein unless the context otherwise indicates:
- Discriminate or discrimination includes segregate or separate.
- Disability means a mental or physical condition which constitutes a handicap. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to prohibit any program, service, facility or privilege afforded to a person with a disability which is intended to habilitate, rehabilitate or accommodate that person.
- Marital Status means the standing, state or condition of one as single or married.
Section 3. Prohibited Acts in Regard to Housing: It shall be an unlawful discrimination practice and a misdemeanor offense:
- For any person to discriminate on grounds of race, creed, religion, color, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, age or disability in the sale, lease or rental of any housing unit or units.
- For any broker, agent, salesman, or other person acting in behalf of another to so discriminate in the sale, lease or rental of any housing unit or units belonging to such other person.
- For any person engaged in the business of financing the purchase, rehabilitation, remodeling or repair of housing units to refuse to provide such financing or insurance or to discriminate with regard to the term or conditions thereof by reason of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age or disability of the applicant or because of the location of the unit or units in areas of the city occupied by persons of a particular race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age or disability, or to discriminate by treating differently any person or group of persons who desire to purchase, lease, acquire, construct, rehabilitate, repair, or maintain real property in a specific urban area because of social, economic or environmental conditions of the area in the granting, withholding, extending, modifying, or renewing, or in the rates, terms, conditions, or privileges of any such financial assistance or in the extension of services in connection therewith.
The bona fide programs of federal, state or local governmental units or agencies, however structured or authorized to upgrade or improve in any manner a specific urban area shall not be deemed to be a violation of this section.
- For any person, having sold, leased, or rented a housing unit or units to any person, to discriminate with respect to facilities, services or privileges of occupancy by reason of race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age or disability, marital status or status with regard to public assistance.
- For any person to make or publish any statement evidencing an intent to discriminate on grounds of race, creed, religion, sex, national origin, or ancestry, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age or disability, in the sale lease or rental of a housing unit or units.
- For any person to make an inquiry regarding race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age or disability, or to keep any record or use any form of application, designed to elicit such information, in connection with the sale, lease, rental, or financing of a housing unit or units.
- For any person, for the purpose of inducing a real estate transaction from which he may benefit financially,
- To represent that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition of the block, neighborhood, or area in which the property is located, in respect of the race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age or disability of those living there; or
- To represent that this change will or may result in the lowering of property values, an increase in crime or antisocial behavior and decline in the quality of schools in the block, neighborhood or area concerned.
- Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to require any person or group of persons selling, renting, or leasing property to modify the property in any way, or exercise a higher degree of care for a person having a disability than for a person who does not have a disability; nor shall this chapter be construed to relieve any person or persons of any obligations generally imposed on all persons regardless of any disability in a written lease, rental agreement, or contract or purchase or sale, or to forbid distinctions based on the inability to fulfill the terms and conditions, including financial obligations of such lease, agreement or contract.
- The provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to:
- The rental of a portion of a dwelling containing accommodations for two(2) families, one of which is occupied by the owner; or
- The rental by an owner or occupier of a one-family accommodation in which he resides of a room or rooms of accommodation to another person or persons if discrimination is by sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance or disability. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to require any person or group of persons selling, renting or leasing property to modify the property in any way, or exercise a higher degree of care for a person with a disability than for a person who does not have a disability; nor shall this ordinance be construed to relieve any person or persons of any obligations generally imposed on a;; persons regardless of any disability in a written lease, rental agreement, or contract of purchase or sale, or to forbid distinction based on the inability to fulfill the terms and conditions, including financial obligations, of such lease, agreement or contract.
Section 4. Enforcement Procedures: The city council in and for the City of Wabasso Minnesota is designated as the enforcement agency for this ordinance and shall have power to receive, hear and determine complaints as provided herein.
The city council shall promptly investigate, upon complaint or upon their own motion, any violations of this ordinance. If after investigation, they shall have reason to believe a violation has occurred, they may refer the matter to the city attorney for criminal prosecution, initiate civil enforcement procedures as herein provided, or to enter into a settlement agreement when approved by the city council and affected persons.
Section 5. Statute of Limitations: No action may be brought for civil enforcement or criminal prosecution unless the charge of alleged discriminatory practice was filed with the City within 180 days from the occurrence of the practices.
Section 6. Civil Enforcement: Civil enforcement procedures shall be prosecuted by the city attorney before the city council in the following manner:
- The city attorney shall serve upon the respondent by certified mail a complaint signed by the city attorney, which shall set forth a clear and concise statement of the facts constituting the violation, set a time and place for hearing, and advise the respondent of his right to file an answer to appear in person or by an attorney and to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
- The hearing shall not be less than 20 days after service of the complaint. At any time prior to the hearing the respondent may fiel an answer. Facts not denied by answer shall be deemed admitted. If the answer sets out new matter, it shall be deemed denied by the council.
- The complaint or answer may be amended at any given time prior to the hearing with the consent of the opposing party.
- Hearings shall be before the city council.
- The council may obtain subpoenas from the District Court to compel attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at any hearing.
- If, after hearing, the panel shall conclude that a violation has occurred, it shall prepare an order which may contain any provision deemed desirable to do justice to the complainant or to prevent respondent to rent, sell, or lease particular housing to the complainant or do any other such thing as may be just. The panel’s findings of fact and order shall be served on the respondent and each member of the complainant by mail or shall become the findings and order of the panel unless, within ten days after mailing of the findings and order of the panel, the panel shall revoke or amend the order, but any order of a panel may be modified by the panel at any time.
Section 7. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and publication and be given the number 225.
Voting Aye: Strand, Johanneck, Wahl, Bernardy, White
Voting Nay: none
The City Council of the City of Wabasso declared this ordinance passed this 5th day of October 1987.
Brian L White
Attest: Brian White, Mayor
Marilyn J Davis
Marilyn J Davis, City Clerk