Carolinas, Southeast States Lead in Passage and Approval of Equivalent Laws

The Carolinas and the Southeastern states continue to lead the country in passing fair housing laws equivalent to the new higher standards of the 1988 Fair Housing Act Amendments.

By the end of June statutes passed by the State of North Carolina (see 9-91 ADVOCATE) and three cities had been deemed equivalent. The cities were Asheville-Buncombe County (see 10-91 ADVOCATE) Charlotte and Winston Salem.

The South Carolina law and the Florida law (see 11-91 ADVOCATE) had been approved earlier. Other new jurisdictions approved by the end of June included the states of West Virginia, Texas, rizona,Montana, Nebraska and Indiana.

Additional cities certified by June included Dallas, Texas and Shaker Heights, Ohio. The total approved by the end of June was 14.

Many more state and city statutes are expected to be approved by the September 13 deadline for certification.

While HUD is not expected to announce other approvals until after the September deadline, reports suggest at least eleven that have been approved or are likely to be. These include the states of Georgia, Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  The cities of Charleston, WV, Greensboro, NC, Salina, KS, and Dubuque, IA are likely to be approved.

Many other agencies have passed statutes they consider equivalent which are under consideration by HUD, but the ADVOCATE was unable to obtain additional names. The number of laws submitted HUD for approval is several times the number agencies announced so far. Agencies can still be approved after September 13.

Meanwhile the Administrative Conference of the United States recommended that HUD scrutinize the procedures and rights offered by cities and states to be certain they fully meet the legal requirements to be "substantially equivalent."

At their June meeting in D C the Administrative Conference also recommended that HUD quickly certify the agencies that completely qualify.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law had previously opposed weakening of standards and extension of the September deadline for initial qualification for deferral of cases from HUD.