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Discrimination is unacceptable

 

Last updated 3/22/2007 at Noon



April is Fair Housing Month and it is right around the corner. No matter which side of the immigration issue we stand on, we must remember that discrimination is unacceptable. When it comes to housing, the law provides protections for everyone, regardless of immigration status.

Each of us falls into a legally protected class: disability, religion, sex, familial status, age, medical condition and sexual orientation, to name a few. Discrimination based on race or national origin is also illegal under both federal and state law.

Imagine you live in an apartment building where discrimination is practiced and your housing rights are violated regularly. The landlord says that if you complain about the lack of maintenance or repairs, he will call Immigration. Perhaps you are charged a higher security deposit than childless tenants because you have kids. Maybe you’re a person with a disability and you need a handle in the bathtub, but the landlord refuses to accommodate you. Or, you’re out to buy a home and the bank offers you “special” terms because you are a person of color or because of the area you wish to buy into. All of these actions are illegal and are addressed by Fair Housing Laws.

Let’s take this opportunity to enjoy our freedoms and protections rather than reflect negatively on those who must work hard to exercise their rights under the law. Limiting the choices and opportunities for any group puts us all in danger of losing our individual right to live free from discrimination.

Kelly Matthews

Fair Housing

Program Manager

North County Lifeline

 

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