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Veteran threatened with eviction for needing companion dog

Fair Housing Laws have been updated in recent years, making it illegal to discriminate against a renter or buyer based on who they are, but Trump Village does not feel the laws apply to them.

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Modernizing Fair Housing Laws

It’s possible that with each passing year, or decade, Fair Housing Laws have become more complex, more in-depth than that of their original intent.  The truth of it is, they are merely merging to be all encompassing so that no one will face discrimination in housing be they the buyer/seller or landlord/renter of a piece of  property. 

With The Federal Fair Housing Act in 1968, it became illegal to discriminate during the sale or rental of a dwelling based on a person’s national origin, sex, race, religion, or color. It wasn’t until 1988 that disability (codified by the ADA in 1990) and familial status were both included. Many states and local communities also have also included members of the Military as a protected class, and recently, the National Association of Realtors amended the Code of Ethics to include protections for all sexual orientations, and HUD, along with all HUD insured housing announced that they will not discriminate against actual or perceived sexually identity, or orientation.

Actually, Fair Housing Laws are not that complicated. We can’t screw over anyone in housing simply because they do not fit into whatever our own personal cookie-cutter appearance of normal may be. It’s illegal. 

Is Trump Village immune to Fair Housing Laws?

When this little piece appeared in the NY Times last week, I was totally appalled, and pretty freaking livid. A co-op is attempting to evict a Russian immigrant, a married man with two children, an Afghanistan War Veteran, having been on tour in Kosovo, Bagram, and Kandahar, some of the most violent places over there are in The BIG A. 

Upon returning from his latest nine-month tour,  Eugene Ovsishcher  was diagnosed with PTSD. Per the NY Times article, two doctors, his regular doctor, and a psychiatrist recommended that he get a companion dog to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with PTSD, the flashbacks, the nightmares, and anxiety. While he submitted his regular doctor’s note to the co-op’s board for approval, to register Mickey with the co-op as a companion dog, the board says they need a note from an expert in PTSD.

The whole idea that a housing complex, anywhere, in this day age feels it is bigger than a family, a man who under the law is entitled to reasonable accommodations due to his disability, and a Soldier who served, is crap. A note from a doctor (yeah, you know, an Rx type thing) is all that is required. Trump Village needs a schooling in Fair Housing Laws. And service/companion animals. Immediately.

Note from the Editor in Chief: At AGBeat, it is our firm belief that housing is a human right, and any type of discrimination by any party will be exposed and will never be tolerated under any circumstances, no matter whose name is on the building.

Katie Cosner, occasionally known as Kathleen, or KT, is a Realtor® with Cutler Real Estate and is active in her local Board of Realtors® on the Equal Opportunity & Professional Development Committee. She has been floating around online for a number of years, and is on facebook as well as twitter. While Katie has a few hardcore beliefs, three in the Real Estate World to live and die by are; education, ethics, and the law - insert random quote from “A Few Good Men” here. Katie is also an avid Cleveland Indians fan, which really explains quite a bit of her… quirks.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. okchomeseller

    June 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Boo Hiss….

  2. fairhousingpod

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Minor correction:  the Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988 to include disability.  It was not “codified by the ADA in 1990.”  The Fair Housing Act applies to housing.  The ADA applies to public places (restaurants, theaters, etc.) and government programs. 

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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