Ashland, OR Fair Housing

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Ashland, OR, US

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Type: Municipal Code

Status: Adopted through Ordinance #2746 in 1994

Source File:


10.110 Fair Housing

10.110.010 Declaration of policy
It is hereby declared to be the policy of Ashland, Oregon, in the exercise of its policy power for the public safety, public health, and general welfare to assure equal opportunity to all persons to live in decent housing facilities regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or familial status and, to that end, to prohibit discrimination in housing by any persons.

10.110.020 Definitions
When used herein:

A. "Real property" includes buildings, structures, lands, tenements, leaseholds, cooperatives and condominiums.

B. "Discrimination" or "discriminatory housing practice" means any difference in treatment based upon race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or familial status; or any act that is unlawful under this ordinance. (Ord. 2713, 1993)

C. "Person" includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations and all other groups or combinations.

D. "Owner" includes a lessee, sublessee, co-tenant, assignee managing agent or other person having the right of ownership or possession, or the right to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation.

E. "Financial Institution" includes any person, as defined herein, engaged in the business of lending money or guaranteeing losses.

F. "Housing accommodation" or "Dwelling" means any building, mobile home or trailer, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed, or intended for occupancy, as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, mobile home or trailer, structure, or portion thereof or any real property, as defined herein, used or intended to be used for any of the purposes set forth in this subsection.

G. "Open Market" means the market which is informed of the availability for sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation, whether informed through a real estate broker or by advertising by publication, signs or by any other advertising methods directed to the public or any portion thereof, indicating that the property is available for sale, purchase, rental or lease.

H. "Older Person" A person of age fifty-five (55) or older.

I. "Familial Status" The presence or absence of children within a household unit, under eighteen (18) years of age.

J. "Disability" means a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. "Disability" includes having a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.

K. "Sexual orientation" means attraction to or selection of a sexual partner according to gender. "Sexual orientation" includes having a history of that attraction or selection, or being identified with that attraction or selection. "Sexual orientation" is limited to heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality.

10.110.030 Unlawful practices
In connection with any of the transactions set forth in this section which affect any housing accommodation in the open market, or in connection with any public sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodation, it shall be unlawful within the City of Ashland for a person, owner, financial institution, real estate broker or real estate salesman, or any representative of the above, to:

A. Refuse to sell, rent or lease, or deny to or withhold any housing accommodation from a person because of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation or familial status; or

B. To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodation, or in the furnishing of facilities of services in connection therewith; or

C. To represent to a person that any housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available, or to refuse to permit a person to inspect any housing accommodation on the open market because of race, color, religion, or national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation or familial status; or

D. To make, publish, print, circulate, post or mail, or cause to be made, published, printed, circulated, posted or mailed, any notice, statement or advertisement, or to announce a policy, or to sign or to use a form of application for the sale, rental, lease or financing of any housing accommodation, or to make a record of inquiry in connection with the prospective sale, rental, lease or financing of any housing accommodation, which indicates any discrimination or any intent to make a discrimination.

E. To retaliate or discriminate in any manner against a person because that person has opposed a practice declared unlawful by this article, or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, hearing or conference under this ordinance; or

F. Inquire into the sexual orientation of a purchaser, renter, or lessee, or prospective purchaser, renter or lessee.

10.110.040 Exemptions

A. This ordinance shall not apply to:

1. A religious organization, association, or society or any nonprofit institution or organization operating, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, which limits the sale, rental, or occupancy, of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than commercial purposes to persons of the same religion, or which gives preference to such persons, unless membership in such a religion is restricted on account of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or familial status.
2. A private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, and which limits the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or gives preference to its members.
3. Rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than two (2) families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as a personal residence.

B. The requirements of this ordinance on prohibition of discrimination on the basis of familial status shall not apply to:

1. Dwellings provided under any State or Federal program specifically designed to assist older persons, or to dwellings in bona fide retirement communities designed and operated for older persons or dwellings otherwise intended and operated exclusively for older persons, equipped with facilities specifically designed for the physical and social needs of such persons.
2. Applicability of reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling unit.
3. Any housing provided, owned or operated by the State or Federal Government.
4. Any housing unit of less than four hundred (400) square feet gross floor area.

10.110.050 Procedures
Any person aggrieved by an unlawful practice prohibited by this ordinance may file a complaint with the Fair Housing Officer no more than sixty (60) days after the alleged unlawful practice occurred. The Fair Housing Officer or a duly authorized representative shall investigate each complaint and attempt to resolve each complaint. Failure to achieve a resolution acceptable to both parties and compliance with this ordinance shall cause the Fair Housing Officer to forward the complaint and findings to appropriate state and federal officials. The Fair Housing Officer may also file a complaint with the Ashland Municipal Court as provided in Section 10.110.070.

10.110.060 Other remedies
Nothing herein contained shall prevent any person from exercising any right or seeking any remedy to which such person might otherwise be entitled or from filing a complaint with any appropriate governmental agency.

10.110.070 Penalties
Any person violating or causing the violation of any provision of this ordinance has committed an infraction, and, upon conviction thereof, is punishable as prescribed in Section 1.08.020 of the Ashland Municipal Code. Such person is guilty of a separate violation for each and every day the violation continues.

10.110.080 Severability of invalid provisions
In case any one or more of the sections, subsections, clauses, or provisions of this ordinance, or the application of such sections, subsections, clauses or provisions to any situations, circumstances, or person, shall for any reason be held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any other sections or provisions of this ordinance or the application of such sections, subsections, clauses or provisions to any other situation, circumstance or person, and it is intended that this ordinance shall be constructed and applied as if such had not been included in this ordinance.