Columbus, OH

Landlady’s discrimination penalty is $11,000

September 27, 2013
A northeastern Ohio landlady was ordered yesterday to pay $2,500 in damages for alleged housing discrimination against undercover testers. Attorneys fees made her total bill more than $11,000.
     A 2009 complaint by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission claims Helen Grybosky, 81, of Conneaut, told undercover testers who said they had disability dogs that pets
     weren’t allowed or required an extra deposit at a Conneaut apartment.
     She told another tester, posing as a single mother with a child, that the woman could only rent a downstairs unit at a higher cost, a second complaint claims. Both complaints alleged violations of state and federal law.

New law to reduce housing discrimination

April 23, 2012
Franklin County and Columbus officials said Monday that they were partnering with the Columbus Urban League to prevent housing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
     City and county leaders held the first of several strategy meetings to take aim at the discrimination, 10TV’s Ashleigh Barry reported.
     A new federal law prohibits landlords and home-loan lenders from discriminating against people who identify themselves as part of the LGBT community.
     Until this year, the federally funded Fair Housing Program was limited to focusing on discrimination complaints based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability or family status, according to the Franklin County Commissioners.

Ruling over controversial pool sign stands

January 12, 2012
A Cincinnati landlord who claimed a black girl's hair products clouded an apartment complex's swimming pool discriminated against the child by posting a poolside "White Only" sign, an Ohio civil rights panel said Thursday in upholding a previous finding.
     The Ohio Civil Rights Commission voted 4-0 against reconsidering its finding from last fall. There was no discussion.
     The group found on Sept. 29 that Jamie Hein, who is white, violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act by posting the sign at a pool at the duplex where the teenage girl was visiting her parents.
     The parents filed a discrimination charge with the commission and moved out of the duplex in the racially diverse city to "avoid subjecting their family to further humiliating treatment," the commission said in a release announcing its finding.

Latest cut could close homes for mentally ill

August 30, 2009
Ohio's struggling group homes for the mentally ill got another blow last week, losing $3 million that pays for air conditioning, winterization, plumbing and other repairs and improvements.
     The state money amounted to less than $5,000 apiece annually for small, community-based group homes for the mentally ill scattered across the state. There were 317 grants awarded last year.
     But Terry Russell, executive director of the Ohio Adult Care Facilities Association, said the loss, while small, may be the tipping point for group home operators already trying to cope with a 43 percent cut in aid enacted in the state budget, down to $10.3 million statewide.
     "Without this money, these homes can't be maintained, and the quality suffers," Russell said. "The operators say, 'We can't do this anymore.'

Fair housing funding at risk

June 23, 2009
Ohio could lose $1.3 million a year in federal funding used to investigate roughly 500 fair housing complaints unless the state strengthens its civil rights laws, officials said.
     Recent state court rulings have weakened Ohio's fair housing laws to the point where state law no longer mirrors federal law, and money from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department may be pulled, according to Ohio Civil Rights Commission Director Michael Payton and Miami Valley Fair Housing Director Jim McCarthy.
     "You take away those federal funds and it's almost like a fatal blow to the agency," Payton said. The Civil Rights Commission, which operates on an $8.8 million annual budget, is already laying off 32 of its 127 staff members, he said.

Victims of racial bias in Coal Run awarded $10.9 million

July 10, 2008
Jurors today awarded $10.9 million to 68 residents of Coal Run who were victims of racial discrimination when they were denied public water service by Muskingum County and Zanesville.
     Damages ranged from $15,000 to $300,000 for each plaintiff.
     The defendants in the suit were the city, county and the East Muskingum Water Authority. Attorneys for the city and county said they will appeal.
     The verdict ended a near-seven-week trial before Judge Algenon L. Marbley.
     Sixty-eight current and former residents of Coal Run, a low-income area east of Zanesville, filed the lawsuit with the assistance of the Fair Housing Advocates Association.
     The lawsuit contended that the mostly black residents were denied public water for 50 years due to the color of their skin.

Accused of bias, insurer to expand sales force in 7 cities

October 27, 2006
Five months after a civil-rights group accused Nationwide of discriminating against female and minority insurance agents, the company said it plans to hire as many as 350 minority agents in the next three years.
     Members of the Chicago based RainbowPUSH Coalition said during Nationwide’s annual meeting in May that the company didn’t give minority agents the same resources and opportunities as other agents.

Nationwide to continue talks with agents claiming discrimination

May 05, 2006
Nationwide Insurance says it is continuing to meet with current and former agents who say the company does not provide the same level of marketing support for minority and female agents as it does for other agents.
     The company said it has investigated the claims and has found they have no merit.
     The civil rights group Rainbow Push Coalition, which represented 10 agents in six states at Nationwide Financial Services' annual meeting on Wednesday, claims minority and female agents were not given the same marketing resources, access to clients of retiring agents and had to meet tougher performance goals than other agents.

Housing discrimination has far-reaching consequences

December 23, 2004
Nearly half a century after the onset of the civil rights movement, discrimination is still alive and well within Ohio, where many residents - of all types - are being denied access and opportunity for housing.
     On Dec. 1 - the 49th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to move from a "whites only" seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus - the Ohio Civil Rights Commission filed a lawsuit in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas claiming that a Canal Winchester family's racially driven harassment forced a neighboring couple to sell their home.
     According to court documents, the defendants and their dependents allegedly engaged in a pattern of harassment against the complainants in an attempt to cause them to move out of the neighborhood because of their race. Their tactics allegedly included the use of racial epithets, physical threats, rock throwing, trespassing, intimidation and demands for the complainants to move, the filing stated.

Bush administration announces more than $789M to help very low-income elderly and people with disabilities

October 22, 2004
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today joined Congressmen Michael Oxley, Bob Ney, and Patrick Tiberi to announce that more than $789 million in housing assistance grants will be awarded this year to help the nation's very low-income elderly and people with disabilities. The grants include $643.6 million for the elderly and $145.6 million for people with disabilities.
     "President Bush is committed to making sure our senior citizens and people with disabilities have opportunities to live in decent, safe and affordable homes," Jackson said. "The grants that we awarded today will certainly help in achieving that goal."
     Jackson, Oxley, Ney, and Tiberi made the announcements at the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority in Columbus, Ohio. The funding announcements included $31.4 million in housing assistance grants for Ohio's very low-income elderly and $5.1million for Ohio citizens with disabilities.


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