PUBLIC NOTICE: Equal Opportunity Housing - Pierce CountyPIERCE COUNTY RESIDENTS ENTITLED TO EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY
PIERCE COUNTY RESIDENTS ENTITLED TO EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY
To assist in the prevention of discrimination in housing, Pierce County wants residents to know that the County has a fair housing ordinance. The ordinance is based on the Wisconsin statute that relates to the equal rights of all persons to fair housing regardless of age, sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or lawful source of income.
According to the County’s Housing Program Administrator, Janet Zimmer of Cedar Corporation, housing discrimination can take many forms. For example, it is discriminatory to refuse to sell or rent a house or apartment to someone simply because he or she is disabled, belongs to a different race, is a single parent, or belongs to any of the other “protected classes” listed above.
It is also discriminatory to deny housing privileges, services or facilities to certain occupants because of their sex, race, color, national origin, or any of the other criteria listed in the County’s fair housing ordinance. Advertising in a manner that indicates discrimination by a preference or limitation is also against the law. Another form of housing discrimination includes telling a prospective buyer or renter that a home or apartment is unavailable when it actually is available.
In some cases, there are exemptions from fair housing laws, including housing for the elderly and disabled, restricting the number of occupants for specific units, advertising for a roommate of the same sex, applying different financing terms based on the age of the applicant, and requiring information on family/marital status and business/financial status. How- ever, prospective owners and renters cannot be required to disclose their race, color, physical condition, disability, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, national origin, or religion.
Pierce County encourages anyone who believes he or she has been treated unfairly while looking for housing, or is being discriminated against by a current landlord, to call 715-273- 3531. All complaints will be handled in a confidential manner.
The County Clerk will provide housing discrimination complaint forms to any person alleging a violation of the fair housing ordinance, and will assist in filing a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in Madison. It is the County’s policy to provide this complaint form and to assist anyone who requests help in filing a housing discrimination complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The National Fair Housing Hotline at 1-800- 669-9777 (TDD 1-800-927-9275) also provides information and assistance.
________________________________ (Pub. 08/22/12) WNAXLP