The Fair Housing Board is a five-member board appointed by the Mayor for three-year terms. This board meets only on-call to hear complaints of alleged violations of the Fair Housing Ordinance that would involve discrimination in the sale or rental of housing for reasons of race, religion or ethnic origin.
What Is Fair Housing?
Equal Opportunity for families or individuals to reside in, to buy, or to rent housing of their choice, in neighborhoods of their choice, and for which they financially qualify. Every individual within the state has the right to fair housing without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status.
Familial Status Defined:
Familial status refers to households with one or more children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, those securing custody of anyone under 18, and pregnant women.
Disability Defined - A Disabled Person Is One Who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits major life activity
- Has a record of such impairment
- Is regarded as having such impairment
In the sale and rental of real property, advertising for housing, leases, sub-leases, loans, appraisals, insurance and zoning.
Types of Discrimination:
- Refusal to show, rent, lease, transfer, or sell housing
- Unequal terms or conditions imposed in housing
- Unequal services or facilities in housing, discriminatory advertising for housing
- Discrimination in housing based on association with a member of a protected class
- Denying availability of housing
- Harassment, intimidation or interference with anyone exercising fair housing rights
- Occupancy standards that are more restrictive than that of local city housing ordinances
- Blockbusting – promoting the listing or sale of real property in a discriminatory manner, such as inducing residents to sell because different racial or ethnic groups are moving into the area groups are moving into the area
- Redlining – Refusal to make loans or provide home insurance in an equitable manner in geographical areas with low property value.
- Steering – To “steer” a prospective renter or buyer away from desired property on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability or familial status
Any person who claims to have been injured; or any person who believes that he or she will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur may file a complaint with the City of Newton (see Complaint Procedure below).
Individuals may write, telephone or come in to City Hall for assistance in filing a complaint, at 201 E. Sixth St.
City of Newton contact:
Robert Myers, City Attorney: 284-6018
Other Fair Housing Agencies:
Kansas Human Rights Commission
900 SW Jackson, Suite 851
Landon State Office Building
Topeka, KS 66612-1258
Fair Housing Enforcement Center
U.S. Department HUD
Gateway Tower II
400 State Avenue, Room 200
Kansas City, KS 66101-2406
Toll Free: 1-800-743-5323
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410