News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore

Hennes Paynter Communications

Northeast Ohio Medical University

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics

New bill would lower penalities in housing discrimination cases
Opponents say it would leave tenants vulnerable; supporters say landlords are the vulnerable ones

Jo Ingles
State Sen. Bill Seitz says his bill will protect landlords.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A bill in the Ohio Legislature would drastically cut fines and make other changes in the state’s law on housing discrimination. Supporters say it is a change that is needed to protect landlords from being victimized by fair housing organizations. But opponents say it will weaken protections for vulnerable tenants.


Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:28)

In 2008, 82-year-old Helen Grybosky offered a property for rent. She advertised a “no pets” policy. Among those who responded was a person who claimed to have a companion dog to deal with an anxiety disorder. Unbeknownst to Grybosky, that person was a tester for a fair housing organization.

So, when the Northeast Ohio widow asked for proof of the medical condition and a $100 damage deposit, that group accused her of  with discrimination against a protected class.

“Mrs. Grybosky is the object lesson for what we are trying to do in this bill,” says Republican state Sen. Bill Seitz.

He is the sponsor of legislation that would change state law in a way that he says more closely aligns it with federal housing laws.

Lower penalties, 'bad consequences'
But fair housing groups across the state are hammering the bill, saying it would allow landlords and property owners to discriminate.

Mike Smalz is the senior attorney with the Ohio Poverty Law Center. He says Ohio’s fair housing law would no longer be in compliance with the federal fair housing law.

“That has at least two very bad consequences: 1) Ohio would lose some federal funding that now goes to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, which is the state’s civil rights agency, 2) it would jeopardize the interagency agreements that HUD and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission have negotiated and implemented so that certain cases are referred from one agency to another in order to maximize the effectiveness of the two agencies," Smalz says.

Seitz is not buying those arguments. He says he has asked fair housing agencies throughout the state to explain just how they think this bill will violate federal agreements.

“Would you please give us the specifics of why you believe this somehow guts and undermines the fair housing law and this they have failed to do to me,” Seitz says.

Seitz says the bill will not cause the state to lose money or be in conflict with federal laws.  Even so, he says he is asked the Legislative agency that drafts bills to take a closer look at this one to make sure. 

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University