City of Cushing, OK
Payne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 11-1 Purpose.

[Code 1974 § 1-104; Code 1985 § 11-16; Code 2005 § 54-31]
The general purposes of this article are:
(1) 
To secure for all people equal access to housing in all neighborhoods; and
(2) 
To preserve the public safety, health and welfare.

§ 11-2 Definitions.

[Code 2005 § 54-32]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
BOARD
The fair housing board.
COMPLAINANT
A person, the commission, or the attorney general, who files a complaint pursuant to section § 11-7.
CONCILIATION
The attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint or by the investigation of the complaint, through informal negotiations involving the aggrieved person, the respondent, and the board.
DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICES
An act that is prohibited pursuant to § 11-4.
(1) 
Any building, structure, or part of a building or structure that is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residency by one or more families; or
(2) 
Any vacant land that is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location of a building, structure, or part of a building or structure as described by Subsection (1) of this definition.
FAMILY
Includes a single individual.
HANDICAP
A mental or physical impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity, when there is a record of such an impairment, or the individual is regarded as having such an impairment. The term does not include current illegal use of or addiction to any drug or illegal or federally controlled substance. For purposes of this article, the term "an individual with a handicap" or "handicap" does not apply to an individual because of sexual orientation or the sexual preference of the individual or because that individual is transsexual.
PERSON
One or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and fiduciaries, the state, and all political subdivisions and agencies thereof.
PERSON AGGRIEVED
Any person who:
(1) 
Claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice; or
(2) 
Believes that he will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.
RESPONDENT
The person accused of a violation of this article in a complaint of a discriminatory housing practice.
RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
Any specification limiting the transfer, rental, or lease of any dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or familial status.
TO RENT
Includes to lease, to sublease, to let, or to otherwise grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.
UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE BECAUSE OF AGE
An act prohibited pursuant to § 11-4 against a person at least 18 years of age or older solely on that basis.

§ 11-3 Familial status.

[Code 2005 § 54-33]
For the purposes of this article, a discriminatory act is committed because of familial status only if the act is committed because the person who is the subject of discrimination is:
(1) 
Pregnant;
(2) 
Domiciled with an individual less than 18 years of age in regard to whom the person:
a. 
Is the parent or legal custodian;
b. 
Has the written permission of the parent or legal custodian for domicile with that person; or
(3) 
In the process of obtaining legal custody of an individual less than 18 years of age.

§ 11-4 Discriminatory housing practices.

[Code 1974 § 1-105; Code 1985 § 11-17; Code 2005 § 54-34]
A. 
It shall be an unlawful discriminatory housing practice for any person, or any agent or employee of such person:
(1) 
To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of any housing, or otherwise make unavailable or deny any housing because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(2) 
To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of housing, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with any housing because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(3) 
To make, print, publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of housing that indicates any preference, limitation, discrimination, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(4) 
To represent to any person, for reasons of discrimination, that any housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such housing is in fact so available because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(5) 
To deny any person access to, or membership or participation in, a multiple-listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or discriminate against a person in the terms or conditions of access, membership, or participation in such an organization, service, or facility because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(6) 
To include in any transfer, sale, rental, or lease of housing any restrictive covenant that discriminates, or for any person to honor or exercise, or attempt to honor or exercise, any discriminatory covenant pertaining to housing because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(7) 
To refuse to consider the income of both applicants when both applicants seek to buy or lease housing because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(8) 
To refuse to consider as a valid source of income any public assistance, alimony, or child support, awarded by a court, when that source can be verified as to its amount, length of time received, regularity, or receipt because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(9) 
To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges relating to the obtaining or use of financial assistance for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair, or maintenance of any housing because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status, or handicap;
(10) 
To discharge, demote, or discriminate in matters of compensation or working conditions against any employee or agent because of the obedience of such employee or agent to the provisions of this section;
(11) 
To solicit or attempt to solicit the listing of housing for sale or lease, by door to door solicitation, in person, or by telephone, or by distribution of circulars, if one of the purposes is to change the racial composition of the neighborhood;
(12) 
To knowingly induce or attempt to induce another person to transfer an interest in real property, or to discourage another person from purchasing real property, by representations regarding the existing or potential proximity of real property owned, used, or occupied by persons of any particular race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, familial status or handicap, or to represent that such existing or potential proximity shall or may result in:
a. 
The lowering of property values;
b. 
A change in the racial, religious, or ethnic character of the block, neighborhood, or area in which the property is located;
c. 
An increase in criminal or antisocial behavior in the area; or
d. 
A decline in quality of the schools serving the area;
(13) 
To refuse to rent or lease housing to a blind, deaf, or handicapped person on the basis of the person's use or possession of a bona fide, properly trained guide, signal, or service dog;
(14) 
To demand the payment of an additional nonrefundable fee or an unreasonable deposit for rent from a blind, deaf, or handicapped person for such dog. Such blind, deaf, or handicapped person may be liable for any damage done to the dwelling by such dog;
(15) 
_____
a. 
To discriminate in the sale or rental or otherwise make available or deny a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of:
1. 
That buyer or renter;
2. 
A person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented, or made available; or
3. 
Any person associated with that buyer or renter;
b. 
To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the dwelling because of a handicap of:
1. 
That person;
2. 
A person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or
3. 
Any person associated with that person;
(16) 
For purposes of handicap discrimination in housing pursuant to this article, discrimination includes:
a. 
A refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person if the modifications may be necessary to afford the person full enjoyment of the premises, provided that such person also provides a surety bond guaranteeing restoration of the premises to their prior condition, if necessary to make the premises suitable for nonhandicapped tenants;
b. 
A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when the accommodations may be necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or
c. 
In connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy 30 months after the date of enactment of the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-430), a failure to design and construct those dwellings in a manner that:
1. 
The public use and common use portions of the dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;
2. 
All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within the dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and
3. 
All premises within the dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:
i. 
An accessible route into and through the dwelling;
ii. 
Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;
iii. 
Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and
iv. 
Usable kitchen and bathrooms so that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space;
4. 
Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically handicapped people, commonly cited as "ANSI A 117.1", suffices to satisfy the requirements of Subsection A(16)c.3 of this section;
5. 
As used in this subsection, the term "covered multifamily dwellings" means:
i. 
Buildings consisting of four or more units if the buildings have one or more elevators; and
ii. 
Ground floor units in other buildings consisting of four or more units;
6. 
Nothing in this subsection requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others;
(17) 
_____
a. 
A person whose business includes engaging in residential real estate related transactions may not discriminate against a person in making a real estate related transaction available or in the terms or conditions of a real estate related transaction because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, familial status, national origin or age;
b. 
In this subsection, the term "residential real estate related transaction" means:
1. 
Making or purchasing loans or providing other financial assistance:
i. 
To purchase, construct, improve, repair, or maintain a dwelling;
ii. 
To secure residential real estate; or
2. 
Selling, brokering, or appraising residential real property;
(18) 
This section does not prohibit discrimination against a person because the person has been convicted under federal law or the law of any state of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.
B. 
No other categories or classes of persons are protected pursuant to this article.

§ 11-5 Exempt practices and acts.

[Code 1974 § 1-106; Code 1985 § 11-18; Code 2005 § 54-35]
Nothing provided for in this article shall:
(1) 
Prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of housing which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preferences to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin. Nor shall anything in this article apply to a private membership club which is a bona fide club and which is exempt from taxation pursuant to § 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
(2) 
Prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or a nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from:
a. 
Limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of dwellings that it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion; or
b. 
Giving preference to persons of the same religion, unless membership in the religion is restricted because of race, color, or national origin;
(3) 
Prohibit a private club not open to the public that, as an incident to its primary purpose, provides lodging that it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose from limiting the rental or occupancy of that lodging to its members or from giving preference to its members;
(4) 
Nothing provided for in this article relating to familial status applies to housing for older persons. As used in this section, the term "housing for older persons" means housing:
a. 
That the fair housing board determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons pursuant to a federal or state program;
b. 
Intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or
c. 
Intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit as determined by fair housing board rules;
(5) 
_____
a. 
Subject to Subsection (5)a.1.(ii), of this section, this article does not apply to:
1. 
The sale or rental of a single-family house sold or rented by an owner if:
i. 
The owner does not:
Own more than three single-family houses at any one time; or
Own any interest in, or is there owned or reserved on his behalf, pursuant to any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to any part of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than three single-family houses at any one time; and
ii. 
The house was sold or rented without:
The use of the sales or rental facilities or services of a real estate broker, agent, or salesperson licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Real Estate License Code (59 O.S. § 858-101 et seq.), or of an employee or agent of a licensed broker, agent, or salesperson, or the facilities or services of the owner of a dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by five or more families; or
The publication, posting, or mailing of a notice, statement, or advertisement prohibited by § 11-4; or
2. 
The sale or rental of rooms or units in a dwelling containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner maintains and occupies one of the living quarters as the owner's residence;
b. 
The exemption in Subsection (5)a.1. of this section applies to only one sale or rental in a twenty-four-month period, if the owner was not the most recent resident of the house at the time of the sale or rental;
(6) 
Nothing provided for in this article shall prohibit a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property from taking into consideration factors other than race, color, age, religion, gender, handicap, familial status, or national origin;
(7) 
Nothing provided for in this article shall affect a reasonable local or state restriction on the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling or restriction relating to health or safety standards;
(8) 
Nothing provided for in this article shall prevent or restrict the sale, lease, rental, transfer, or development of housing designed or intended for the use of the handicapped;
(9) 
Nothing provided for in this article shall affect a requirement of nondiscrimination in any other state or federal law;
(10) 
Nothing provided for in this article shall prohibit the transfer of property by will, intestate succession, or by gift.

§ 11-6 Fair housing board.

[Code 1974 §§ 1-107, 1-108; Code 1985 § 11-19; Code 2005 § 54-36]
There is hereby created a fair housing board of the City composed of five members, appointed by the City Manager for terms of three years each. It shall be the duty of the fair housing board to:
(1) 
Initiate, receive and investigate complaints, charging unlawful housing practices;
(2) 
Seek conciliation of such complaints, hold hearings, make findings of fact and publish its findings of fact;
(3) 
Adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary within the limits of this article, and carry out the purposes and provisions of this article.

§ 11-7 Complaint procedure.

[Code 1974 § 1-109; Code 1985 § 11-20; Code 2005 § 54-37]
A. 
Any person aggrieved by a discriminatory practice prohibited by this article may file with the fair housing board a complaint in writing, under oath. Such complaint shall be signed by the person claiming to be aggrieved, and shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have violated the provisions of this article, and shall further set forth the particulars of such violation, and may include such other information as may be required by the board. Complaints filed under this section must be filed within 30 days after the alleged violation, and failure to file within such time shall be considered a waiver of the application of this article. The fair housing board may issue a complaint on its own initiative, at any time it is within the knowledge of the fair housing board that a person has violated any of the provisions of this article.
B. 
The board shall investigate each complaint filed with the fair housing board, and shall attempt an adjustment of such complaint by means of conference and conciliation. Sixty days shall be allowed for the purpose of investigation, conference and conciliation. Upon determination that a complaint is not well founded, the fair housing board shall dismiss such complaint and notify the complainant and respondent in writing of such dismissal. If it appears that the complaint might have merit, the complainants shall be advised of their rights under existing state and federal laws.
C. 
If conference or conciliation does not result in compliance with this article, the fair housing board shall cause to be issued and served in the name of the City, a written notice, together with a copy of such complaint, requiring the person named in such complaint, hereinafter referred to as respondent, to answer charges of such complaint at a hearing before the fair housing board at a time and place to be specified in the notice.
D. 
At the hearing, provided for in Subsection C of this section, the complaint shall be heard by the fair housing board. At the hearing, the complainant or person aggrieved may appear in person and/or by counsel, and the respondent may file a written answer to the complaint and may appear in person or by legal counsel. The fair housing board, when conducting any hearing, pursuant to this section, may permit amendments to any complaint or answer, and the testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath, and shall be transcribed at the request of either party, or at the direction of the board, the party requesting the transcription to be responsible for the costs thereof. If the fair housing board finds at such hearing that the respondent has engaged in any discriminatory practice or practices prohibited by this article, it shall state its findings of fact and shall so certify the matter to the City Attorney for appropriate action. No prosecution shall be brought under this article except upon such certification.
E. 
If the fair housing board, upon hearing, finds that the respondent has not engaged in any discriminatory practice, it shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and file an order dismissing the complaint. The fair housing board shall establish rules and regulations to govern and expedite and effectuate the foregoing procedure, and shall maintain the files provided for in this section.
F. 
All notices required under the provisions of this section to be served personally on such person, or by mailing a copy thereof by certified or registered mail, with return receipt requested, to the most current business or resident address of such person.