[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Chittenango 11-24-1980 by L.L. No. 3-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees hereby finds and declares it to be the public policy of the Village of Chittenango to promote fair dealing concerning residential housing properties, to maintain community stability and security and to foster racial and social harmony. This chapter is adopted in order to reinforce this policy and to supplement the federal and state laws pertaining to fair housing.
Definitions. When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To extend differential treatment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status, and including discrimination because of the race, color, creed, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status of friends and associates.
- FAIR HOUSING OFFICER
- The Director of Community Development in the Village of Chittenango.
- Includes single individual.
- Includes a bodily or mental disablement which may be the result of injury, illness or congenital condition for which reasonable accommodation can be made.
- HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
- Any building, structure or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied as the home residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings.
- HOUSING PROPERTY
- Any building, structure or portion thereof within the Village of Chittenango which is occupied as or designed and intended for occupancy as a residence by one or more families, or any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building for such purpose.
- Includes sublease, assignment and rental and includes any contract to do any of the foregoing.
- LENDING INSTITUTION
- Any bank, insurance company, savings and loan association or other person in the business of obtaining, arranging or negotiating loans or guaranties as agent or broker, and any person in the business of buying or selling loans or instruments for the payment of money which are secured by title to or a security interest in a housing property, but shall not include any religious institution or organization nor any charitable or educational organization operated, supervised or controlled by a religious institution or organization.
- MARITAL STATUS
- Includes the state of being married, single, divorced, separated or widowed and the usual conditions associated therewith, including pregnancy or parenthood.
- Any person or any one of a number of persons in whom is vested all or any part of the legal or equitable ownership or title to any dwelling.
- Includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representative and successors, and any other organization or entity of whatever character.
Word usage. Words in the masculine gender include the feminine; words in the plural include the singular; words in the singular number include the plural.
No person, firm, corporation, partnership, agent or other entity which receives or expects to receive pecuniary gain from the sale or rental of housing property shall:
Refuse to sell, lease, rent, furnish services or otherwise deny or withhold any housing accommodation constructed or to be constructed in the Village of Chittenango to any person, or refuse to negotiate for the lease or rental of housing accommodation in the Village of Chittenango, or otherwise make such property unavailable, to any person, by reason of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status of such person.
Represent to any person that any housing property in the Village of Chittenango is not available for inspection, sale or rental when such housing property is in fact so available.
Discriminate against any person because of his race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodation constructed or to be constructed.
Discriminate in the furnishing of information, services or facilities to any person in connection with the sale or rental of housing property because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status of such person.
Print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or use any form or application for the purchase, lease or rental of any housing accommodation, or make any record or inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, lease or rental of any housing accommodation which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination.
Display listings or show prospective purchasers or renters housing property within the Village of Chittenango for sale or lease on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status, or display listings or show prospects units for sale or lease in areas of the village based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status.
Induce housing properties transactions from which any such person may benefit financially, by representing that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition of the block, neighborhood or area with respect to the race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status of the owners or occupants in the block, neighborhood or area in which the real property is located, and represent, directly or indirectly, that this change will or may result in undesirable consequences in the block, neighborhood or area in which the real property is located, including but not limited to the physical deterioration of dwellings, the lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior or a decline in the quality of schools or other facilities.
It shall be unlawful for any real estate broker or dealer or any agent or employee of a real estate broker or dealer to influence or attempt to influence any other person who purports or represents himself to be a prospective purchaser, seller, occupant or tenant or landlord of real property to purchase, sell or rent or to refrain from purchasing, renting or selling real property by referring to the race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status of occupants or prospective occupants of other real property in the area.
No bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association or other lending institution, insurance company, finance company or financial services company to whom application is made for financial assistance for the purchase, acquisition, construction, improvement, repair or maintenance of housing property within the Village of Chittenango on behalf of such person shall discriminate against any applicant because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status in the granting, withholding, extending or renewing or in the fixing of the amount, interest rate, duration or other terms or conditions of any such financial assistance, nor shall any such institution refuse financial assistance because such housing accommodation lies in a particular area of the village, if real property is located within the geographic area ordinarily served by such bank or within the community in which the principal or any branch office of such bank is located. For the purpose of this section, discrimination shall include refusal to make loans, differentiating in the type or terms of loans, including interest rates, charges to buyer and seller, duration and amount of loans, influencing appraisals in connection with loans or delaying of loan applications.
No person shall aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden hereinabove, or attempt to do so. This section may be enforced by appropriate civil actions.
No person engaged in any of the prohibited acts as hereinabove defined shall retaliate or discriminate against any person because such person has filed a compliant, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply to:
The rental of a housing accommodation in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than two families living independently of each other if the owner or members of his family reside in one of such housing accommodations.
The restriction of the rental of all rooms in a housing accommodation to individuals of the same sex.
The rental of a room or rooms in a housing accommodation if such rental is by the occupant of the housing accommodation or by the owner of the housing accommodation and he or members of his family reside in such housing accommodation.
This chapter shall in no manner prevent the requirement for additional structural, emergency alarm and/or fire prevention precautions as may be required by any local ordinance or code of the Village of Chittenango, nor shall it be interpreted to prevent enforcement of local building code and zoning requirements and use limitations for special residence facilities, as defined by local law; nor shall such chapter be interpreted to allow for any unilateral change in occupancy or creation of special occupancy uses licensed or regulated by the State of New York, without first obtaining all required permits and certificates of occupancy to ascertain full compliance with local laws and building codes.
Nothing in this chapter shall require an owner to offer for sale or lease real property to the public at large, nor shall this chapter be deemed to prohibit discrimination for any reason other than race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap or marital status and not otherwise prohibited by law.
Duty of the Fair Housing Officer. It shall be the duty of the Fair Housing Officer to initiate, receive and investigate written complaints charging discrimination, make findings of fact, seek conciliation of such fact or complaint, seek compliance by violators and take all other actions as authorized by law.
Filing of complaints.
Any person aggrieved in any manner by a violation of any clause or provision of this chapter may file a written complaint with the Fair Housing Officer or his designee. The complaint shall be addressed to the Fair Housing Officer and shall state:
The name and address of the complainant.
The name and address of the person or persons against whom the complaint is brought, if known to the complainant.
The address of the property involved.
The name and address of all persons concerning the alleged violation.
The facts surrounding the alleged violation of this chapter.
Such other information as may be required by the Fair Housing Officer.
The Fair Housing Officer shall provide a printed form of complaint for the use of aggrieved persons. No fee shall be charged for the filing of the complaint.
Any complaint shall be barred from consideration unless it is filed with the Fair Housing Officer or his designee within six months after the alleged discriminatory practice has occurred. The Fair Housing Officer may extend the time for filing the complaint for an additional 60 days from the date filing would ordinarily have expired when conciliation efforts are pending.
Investigation and conciliation of complaints.
The Fair Housing Officer shall furnish a copy of the complaint to the person or persons against whom the complaint is brought, in person or by certified mail, within five business days of receipt of the complaint from the complainant.
The Fair Housing Officer shall investigate the complaint and determine whether or not, in his opinion, probable cause exists for believing that the allegations made in the complaint are true.
If after such investigation the Fair Housing Officer determines that probable cause does not exist to believe that the allegations made in the complaint are true, he shall dismiss the complaint and shall so notify the complainant and all other parties interested.
If after such investigation the Fair Housing Officer determines that probable cause does exist to believe that the allegations made in the complaint are true, he shall set a date for a conference and notify the parties of the time and place thereof. At such conference, the Fair Housing Officer shall interview the complainant and the person or persons against whom the complaint has been directed and shall attempt to resolve the complaint by conciliation.
The Fair Housing Officer is authorized to hold closed meetings for conciliation of complaints of discrimination brought pursuant to this chapter. Nothing said or done in the course of such meetings shall be made public by the Fair Housing Officer, the complainant or by any other party to the proceedings without the written consent of all persons concerned.
If the Fair Housing Officer has been unable to secure voluntary compliance and if he has made a determination of the probable occurrence of one or more of the prohibited acts as hereinabove defined, the Fair Housing Officer may request the Village Attorney to institute and maintain an action provided for below. The Village Attorney shall, within 30 days of such request, make a determination as to whether to proceed with such action. If the Village Attorney determines to proceed, he shall institute an action in a court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days after such determination.
The Village Attorney, on behalf of the Village of Chittenango, may institute and maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain by injunction any violation of this chapter or to impose any fines or to obtain a judgment for any penalties provided for in this chapter.
Upon a finding by the court that any person has engaged in any of the prohibited acts as hereinabove defined, he shall be liable to a fine or a penalty payable to the village, which shall not be less than $100 nor more than $500 in amount for each such prohibited act.
In order to prevent the multiplicity of proceedings, the provisions of this chapter shall not be operative where there is pending or there has been a determination in any other proceeding or action authorized under laws or ordinances of another governmental body based upon the identical act or acts prohibited under § 74-3 hereof.