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Most Housing Complaints Disability Related

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It’s illegal to deny a person housing based upon their disability, but a new report suggests that such discrimination is common coast to coast.

Some 44 percent of housing discrimination complaints last year were based on disability. That’s more than were filed based on race, familial status, sex or any other protected class, according to a report released late last month by the National Fair Housing Alliance.

“It is a travesty that we still see so much discrimination in our country more than 40 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act,” said Shanna Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “No one profits when potential homebuyers or renters are turned away, not because of their ability to purchase or pay, but because of their national origin, skin color, sex, religion, familial status or because of a disability.”

More than 27,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed across the country last year, nearly half of them based on disability, according to the report.

One reason that there were so many complaints related to disability may be that such discrimination is often more overt.

“Many apartment owners make direct comments refusing to make reasonable accommodations or modifications for people with disabilities so discrimination is easier to detect,” the report indicates.

What’s more, federal and local outreach efforts to assist those with disabilities may also be responsible for an increased number of complaints coming from people with disabilities as opposed to other protected groups, the report said.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. Jill Merrill says:

    Equal Housing Opportunity under the Human Rights law requires reasonable accommodation for person’s with disabilities and if more individuals filed claims then it would send the message that disabled person’s are not second class citizens and should not be ignored and left to suffer. Our society needs to question why person’s who are psychologically arrested are allowed to continue to ignore the needs of the disabled. (Remember, the first to be eliminated in Nazi Germany were the disabled.)Why are certain individuals in our country allowed empowerment to subjugate the rights of the handicapped? Criminal charges should accompany all persons violating the human rights of others including the witholding of reasonable accommodation for handicapped persons who often wait years before the courts ajudicate claims – in the “mean” time they continue to suffer, and if elderly, they either die or give up and move away.

  2. hdemic says:

    I went downtown Grand Rapids, Mi to the courthouse to pick up papers to apply for my daughters gaurdianship. they had a ramp leading up to the courthouse but no way to get from the street to the sidewalk. No handicap parking that I could find either. I walked with my daughter in her wheelchair in the middle of traffic in the street before and after appointment. It was busy with cars. Until the state and federal buildings do simplistic things suce as curbways to get on the sidewalk no one is going to adhere to housing. I can understand it if its expensive remodling but newer places don’t even make attempts. Its the do as I say –not what we do statement. I won’t even start on the schools.
    sincerely,
    mom of disabled child in mich

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