Kalamazoo, MI

Regency Square Elevator Still Broken; Fair Housing Center Investigating

July 06, 2016
Six months have come and gone and the elevator in Wendy Barton's building at Regency Square Apartments is still broken.
     Now, the landlord is trying to get an exemption from the state so he doesn't have to fix this broken elevator. The Newschannel3 I-Team is also learning that not fixing the elevator may be a form of discrimination. Either way, Wendy Barton is fed up.
     At 70 years old and with Multiple Sclerosis and living on the third floor, Wendy Barton needs her elevator.
     "My balance is not good, I have to hold onto the railing, I have to lean against the wall," says Barton who has lived at Regency Square Apartments for eight years.

Kalamazoo apartment complex to pay $47,500 to settle housing discrimination lawsuit

August 23, 2013
The owners of a Kalamazoo apartment complex have agreed to pay a husband and wife more than $47,000 to settle a housing discrimination lawsuit filed more than four years ago, according to the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan.
     A settlement agreement calls for the owners of Clayborne Court Apartments, off South Drake Road, to pay $47,500 to Kenneth and Teresa Miller, according to a news release issued Friday by the fair housing center.
     Additionally, officials said the settlement requires the complex’s owner to refrain from using a former occupancy policy that allowed “one person or couple per bedroom” and to not use the terms adult community, mature community or seniors in its advertising.

Kalamazoo plays host to struggle over gay, transgender rights

October 16, 2009
With the constant din of volunteers talking and phones ringing behind him, City Commissioner David Anderson sat on a metal folding chair at campaign headquarters and explained his reluctant entry into the battle over a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in this southwest Michigan city.
     “I didn’t run to work on this issue,” he said, referring to Ordinance 1856, which he helped write. “Quite frankly, this was not on my radar, he added, noting that the local advocacy group Kalamazoo Aliance for Equality did the initial pushing.
     But the fledgling ordinance needed a sponsor. ”As it turned out, I was the one who stepped up,” Anderson said.
     In less than three weeks, voters in Kalamazoo will decide the fate of the ordinance that seeks to add anti-discrimination protections for city residents who are gay or transgender. The measure has inspired an intense, if mostly underground, opposition.

Kalamazoo poised to pass anti-discrimination ordinance

June 27, 2009
Kalamazoo City Commissioner David Anderson predicts an amended ordinance extending discrimination protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals will be approved Monday perhaps unanimously by the City Commission.
     Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, predicts petitions to allow voters to decide the issue will be on the streets Tuesday, leading to a ballot referendum in November.
     Six months of public input and changes to the ordinance unanimously passed by city commissioners in December, then rescinded in January, appear to have changed few opinions on whether Kalamazoo should outlaw discrimination against homosexuals in employment, housing and access to public accommodations.
     At its crux, the schism appears to be largely a religious divide. Ordinance opponents say the measure banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will force the moral acquiescence of those whose religious beliefs call that an immoral lifestyle. Proponents say sexual orientation is not a reason to tolerate discrimination.

HUD reconsiders poverty rate of college towns

July 24, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006 By Paula M. Davis 388-8583
     Concerned that college towns and those with upscale older homes are getting a disproportionate share of community-development funds, the government is seeking a better way to allocate those dollars.
     A new funding formula could significantly affect awarding of federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which are divided based partly on poverty rates.

Universal design makes homes useful for every stage of life

February 26, 2006
Universal design has the potential to make accessible living a possibility for almost everyone.
     Yet few houses embrace the concepts of universal design, few people who are building new homes know about the importance of accessibility features, and real-estate agents need to know more about finding homes that have universal-design features, experts in the universal-design field say.

Center fights back for fair housing

December 07, 2003
Disabled by serious heart ailments, Conners had asked back in 1999 to be moved to a first-floor apartment in her building, to no avail.
     Last spring, the Partnership for Fair Housing Center of Southwestern Michigan sued management of New Horizon Village in Kalamazoo on Conners' behalf for housing discrimination. The federal lawsuit, the first filed by the 2-year-old center, was settled in November for $16,250.
     More lawsuits alleging housing discrimination have been filed or are in the works. The Kalamazoo-based, nonprofit center focuses first on educating the public about fair-housing laws and resolving disputes amicably, but it is beginning to go to court when necessary.
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