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Racial discrimination housing complaints on the rise

Political tensions in the country have led to an increase in accusations of racial discrimination. In this atmosphere, Michigan authorities that manage public housing have a greater chance of receiving complaints from residents or potential renters who feel mistreated because of their race, sex, religion, disability status or national origin.

The National Fair Housing Alliance has documented a rise in hate-oriented incidents. In 2016, it took in 28,181 complaints regarding housing discrimination, which represented about 200 more complaints than the preceding year. According to its records, disability represented the leading reason for discrimination in housing at 55 percent of the complaints. Racial discrimination came in second at 19.6 percent of complaints.

Because many discriminatory attacks occur to people in or near their homes, the alliance has added a form for reporting hate crimes to its website. The organization investigates reports and supports legal actions to help victims of harassment. For example, a civil case involving a mother and daughter stalked and called names in their housing development led to a financial settlement and an apology from the abusive neighbor.

The parties that are involved in a complaint about housing discrimination could consult an attorney familiar with this area of civil rights law. An attorney could advise a housing board on how to respond appropriately to an allegation and design policies that reduce the chances of discrimination occurring. Conversely, a victim of discrimination might want to have an attorney commence a legal action that seeks to bring an end to the mistreatment and asks for compensation for any losses that have been incurred.