MHI Fair Housing Newsletter – Sept. 2017
As the nation’s largest provider of non-subsidized affordable housing, manufactured home communities deal with fair housing laws and issues on a daily basis.
Community owners and managers must consider the impact of the Fair Housing Act in nearly every interaction with their tenants. This is the case with proper screening of prospective tenants to considering requests for that allow emotional support animals.
However, housing providers are not the only ones that must abide by the Fair Housing Act. Cities and Counties must consider how their ordinances and actions — especially land-use planning laws — impact protected classes.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in any type of housing based on: race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. These groups often are referred to as “protected classes”.
Fair Housing Laws Tested
In May, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that cities and counties were legally responsible for making sure their ordinances and enforcement actions did not have a discriminatory impact on “protected classes” of people.
The very first case filed after the Supreme Court decision involved a manufactured home community in Richmond, Va.
The allegation was that the government was using selective enforcement of certain ordinances against a community that was largely occupied by minorities. The case ended up settling in favor of the community and its residents.
MHI is tracking several cases that HUD has determined a government ordinance or action has had a disparate impact on protected classes.
Additionally, MHI has been assisting several states in developing cases for HUD to consider.
Therefore, if you believe residents of your MH community have been discriminated against by the ordinances or actions of a local government, contact your state association executive director.
MHI will work to see if there is a basis for filing a complaint with HUD for fair housing discrimination.
Editor’s note: MHVillage and the Manufactured Housing Institute have agreed to partner on fair housing initiatives, and as part of that agreement, MHVillage will publish the MHI monthly newsletters on the topic with this blog as well as its professional blog www.MHInsider.com.