City of Tallahassee holds fair housing symposium

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 10:39 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A housing crunch across Florida is pushing prices through the roof.

According to Florida Realtors, the median home price is up more than 20% in the past year.

High prices aren’t the only problem. Some renters and buyers face housing discrimination.

That’s why the City of Tallahassee is working to educate residents about their rights.

At a fair housing symposium, Dante Bonner with the Florida Commission on Human Relations emphasized that housing discrimination can be based on many factors.

“Discrimination is not just about race,” Bonner said. “It’s much more than that. It’s about your disability. It’s about your sex or sexual orientation. It’s about national origin. It’s about your familial status.”

Bonner says the Florida Commission on Human Relations receives more than 100 fair housing complaints each month.

He pointed to a hypothetical example of a single mother having her application rejected.

“The individual sees the child and says, ‘We don’t really care for children here. This is a nice, quiet area and children bring a lot of noise,’” Bonner said. “And so they go through the application process, and then they get denied.”

Bonner says that situation would qualify as a fair housing violation. He said they also see cases of renters with disabilities being denied accommodations like wheelchair ramps.

“That’s a discriminatory act,” Bonner said. “Because if a person has a disability, they can request for reasonable accommodation or modification of that facility.”

City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox attended the event. She says fair housing is vital to attracting people to Tallahassee and keeping them here.

“We want people to feel as though they can own homes in Tallahassee,” Williams-Cox said. “That’s our goal. We want people moving here, and we want people living here, and we want people staying here.”

If you believe you are the victim of housing discrimination, you can file a free complaint at fchr.myflorida.com.

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