Public hearing on rental discrimination scheduled for tonight

Local News

A public hearing is scheduled this evening addressing the proposed changes to Erie County’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.  

In an effort to update the county’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance in place since 2004, the Human Relations Commission wants County Council to approve adding criminal history, gender identity, and source of income to the list.  This means that any landlord or employer cannot turn away a person based simply on those issues.

The ordinance already prohibits discrimination by race, national origin, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation; but adding criminal history and source of income to the list alarmed landlords.
Many of those landlords worrying about their safety, the safety of their tenants and the condition of their property.

The proposed changes brought up at the council meeting earlier this month brought up concerns from landlords.  Since then, the commission and council members met with members of the Apartment Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality to look more closely at the changes.

One meeting attendee tells us, “We discussed all of those proposed changes and I think we came across some real good middle ground on those and I think that people are happy with the process and the way they are able to include county government on the process.”

Other cities have similar language in their anti-discrimination policies.  Adding ‘criminal history’ would comply with US Department of Housing and Urban Development Guidelines.

A Public Hearing begins at 5:45 this evening in Erie Council Chambers in the Courthouse.

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