Michigan residents may be aware that the Fair Housing Act protects individuals against discrimination based on gender and other attributes. However, a Missouri retirement community called Friendship Village recently rejected a lesbian married couple citing the fact that they were married. This was after they toured the facilities and made a $2,000 deposit. Friendship Village reportedly believes that marriage is between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.
People of color in Michigan and throughout the country are often shown homes in areas with poor environmental quality compared to white people. This is the finding of a study prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Its results show that people of color are often steered into neighborhoods that are close to toxic sites or that have high levels of air pollution.
Bay View Association in Petoskey is under investigation for allegedly requiring homeowners to have Christian beliefs as a condition of residency. In addition, homeowners there have claimed that they aren't allowed to transfer their property to family members who aren't Christian. This is despite the fact that the community was told by the U.S. Department of Federal Housing that it isn't exempt from an anti-discrimination law.
Those who are seeking housing in Michigan may find that they are the victims of sexual harassment. While victims can be of either gender, they are often single women with children or those who have limited housing options because of their income. Regardless of whether harassment is physical or verbal, it is illegal under the Fair Housing Act. Despite this, victims often choose not to report what has happened to them.
Michigan readers may be concerned to learn that the Trump administration is eliminating a rule that helps communities enforce the Fair Housing Act of 1968, or FHA. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the decision in the federal register on May 23. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or AFFH, rule required cities and towns to prove they had plans to reduce segregation before they could receive federal funds. Created by the Obama administration, the rule was intended to provide cities with a comprehensive tool to measure their compliance with the FHA, which has been poorly enforced since its passage. However, before scrapping it, HUD had already taken steps to delay the rule's implementation for several years, which prompted the State of New York and a group of housing activists to sue the administration.
Michigan residents may have heard about a lawsuit against Ben Carson and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. The suit was filed because HUD had announced that it would delay implementation of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. It was designed to prevent segregation when looking for housing. New York state recently announced that it was going to take part in the national suit filed by fair housing advocates.
According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, or NFHA, there were 1,311 housing discrimination complaints processed in 2017. That was about 5 percent of the 28,843 complaints received that year by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. State and local agencies that were funded by HUD processed another 6,896 during that same year.
Michigan residents may have heard that Facebook is being investigated for possibly violating fair housing laws. An investigation began after a ProPublica report issued in 2016 claimed that the company's advertising system allowed advertisers to target certain groups at the exclusion of others. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 forbids housing discrimination based on race or other protected attributes.
The Fair Housing Rights Act of 1968 made it easier for people of color to gain access to available homes and apartments. However, Michigan residents of color may find that they still struggle to be treated equally when it comes to finding housing. It is a remnant of ideas that began after slavery ended and the country came back together as one.
When the Fair Housing Act of 1968 became law, its purpose was to correct racial discrimination that affected people's ability to acquire housing in Michigan and nationwide. Despite good intentions, the law has had small effect on home ownership rates for African Americans. Currently, they have a homeownership rate of 42.3 percent compared to 41.6 percent in 1970.