Borough of Middletown, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown 9-12-1966 by Ord. No. 504, approved 9-12-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 33-1
Establishment and composition. 

§ 33-2
Chairman, other officers and rules of procedure. 

§ 33-3
Powers and duties. 

§ 33-4
Prevention of unlawful housing practices. 

§ 33-1 Establishment and composition.

[Amended 8-20-1979 by Ord. No. 755, approved 8-20-1979]

There is hereby established the Human Relations Commission of the Borough of Middletown, composed of five members who shall be residents of the Borough of Middletown, three to be appointed by the Mayor, one from each ward of the Borough, subject to the approval and confirmation of the Borough Council, and two to be appointed at large by the three members aforesaid, said two names likewise being submitted to the Borough Council for approval and confirmation. All members shall serve without compensation. Of the original appointees to the Commission, one shall serve for a term of five years, one for four years and one for three years (being the three appointed by the Mayor) and one shall be appointed for a term of two years and one for one year. At the expiration of each such term, a successor shall be appointed for a term of five years, all terms thereafter being for five years. Each successor shall be appointed and any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as provided for the original appointment to such seat, and provided further that the Mayor, with the approval of the Borough Council, may remove any members with cause assigned.

§ 33-2 Chairman, other officers and rules of procedure.

The Commission shall elect one of its members as Chairman, may elect such other officers within its group as it may deem necessary and may adopt such rules of procedure as are necessary to accomplish the duties prescribed in § 33-3 hereof.

§ 33-3 Powers and duties.

The Commission shall:

A. 

Promote mutual understanding, respect and cooperation among all racial, cultural, religious, ethnic, nationality and other groups within the Borough of Middletown.

B. 

Make studies into the status of human relations in the Borough of Middletown.

C. 

Cooperate with and assist other organizations, public or private, to improve relationships among the citizens of the Borough of Middletown.

D. 

Encourage and conduct an educational program for furtherance of the improvement of human relations in the Borough of Middletown, especially through public and private school systems as well as religious groups.

E. 

Act as a referral group for complaints of alleged discrimination within the Borough of Middletown, and whenever, in the opinion of the Commission, a referral is indicated, the Commission shall refer the complainants to appropriate social, civic or government agencies for further action.

F. 

Prepare and submit periodic reports of its activities to the Borough Council and make such other reports or recommendations to the Borough Council from time to time as it may determine necessary for the furtherance of improved human relations in the Borough of Middletown.

G. 

Make recommendations to the Borough Council concerning amendments, supplements, changes or modifications to this chapter.

Editor's Note: Original Section 4, which followed this subsection, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 33-4 Prevention of unlawful housing practices.

[Added 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 751, approved 6-4-1979]

The Commission shall be responsible for ensuring that unlawful housing practices within the Borough of Middletown are prevented.

A. 

Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

COMMERCIAL HOUSING
Housing accommodations held or offered for sale or rent by a real estate broker, salesman or agent or any other person pursuant to authorization of the owner, by the owner himself or by legal representatives, but shall not include any personal residence offered for rent by the owner or lessee thereof or by his broker, salesman, agent, legal representative or employee.
COMMISSION
The Human Relations Commission of the Borough of Middletown.
DISCRIMINATE or DISCRIMINATION
Any difference in treatment in the sale, lease, rental or financing of housing units or housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.
HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
Any building, structure or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied as the home residence or sleeping place of one or more individuals, groups or families and any vacant land offered for sale or lease for housing.
LENDING INSTITUTION
Any bank, insurance company, savings and loan association or any other person or organization regularly engaged in the business of lending money or guaranteeing loans.
OWNER
Includes the lessee, sublessee, assignee, manager, agent or any other person having the right of ownership or possession or the authority to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation, including the Borough and its departments, boards and commissions.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE
A building or structure containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than two individuals, two groups or two families living independently of each other and used by the owner thereof as a bona fide residence for himself and any members of his family forming his household.
REAL ESTATE BROKER
Any natural person, partnership, association or corporation who, for a fee or other valuable consideration, or other purposes, sells, purchases, exchanges or rents or negotiates or offers or attempts to negotiate the sale, purchase, exchange or rental of the real property of another or holds himself or herself out as engaged in the business of selling, purchasing, exchanging or renting the real property of another or collects rent for the use of the real property of another.
REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON OR AGENT
Any person employed by a real estate broker to perform or to assist in the performance of any or all of the functions of a real estate broker or providing any services in connection therewith.
B. 

Prohibited acts.

(1) 

The following shall be unlawful housing practices:

(a) 

No real estate broker or real estate salesperson or agent or owner or other person shall refuse to sell, lease, sublease, rent, assign or otherwise transfer or refuse to negotiate for the sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer of the title, leasehold or other interest in any commercial housing unit to any person or represent that a commercial housing unit is not available for inspection, sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer when in fact it is so available or otherwise deny or withhold any commercial housing unit from any person because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(b) 

No owner shall refuse to sell, lease, sublease, rent, assign or otherwise transfer the title, leasehold or other interest in any commercial housing unit which is part of a housing accommodation to any person or otherwise deny or withhold such commercial housing unit or deny or withhold the furnishing of services in connection therewith from any person because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(c) 

No real estate broker or real estate salesperson or agent shall include in the terms, conditions or privileges or services in connection therewith, of any sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer of any commercial housing unit any clause, condition or restriction discriminating against any person in the use or occupancy of such commercial housing unit because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, physical handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(d) 

No person shall include in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer of a commercial housing unit which is part of a housing accommodation any clause, condition or restriction discriminating against any person in the use or occupancy of such commercial housing unit because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(e) 

No person shall discriminate in the furnishing of any facilities or services for a commercial housing unit which is part of a housing accommodation because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(f) 

No real estate broker, real estate salesperson or agent, owner or any other person or any lending institution shall publish or circulate or cause to be published or circulated any form of application for the purchase, lease, rental or financing of any commercial housing or make any record or inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, rental or lease of any commercial housing which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination.

(g) 

No person, whether or not a real estate broker, real estate salesperson or agent, owner or lending institution, shall aid, incite, compel, coerce or participate in the doing of any act declared to be an unlawful housing practice under this section or obstruct or prevent enforcement or compliance with the provisions of this section or of any rule, regulation or order of the Commission or attempt, directly or indirectly, to commit any act declared by this section to be an unlawful housing practice.

(2) 

Exceptions.

(a) 

Nothing herein contained shall prohibit a religious organization, association or society or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, marital status, handicap or use of a guide dog because of the blindness of the user.

(b) 

Nothing herein contained shall bar any organization which has designed, constructed and made available housing designated for the retired elderly from restricting such housing to that class of person.

C. 

Additional powers and duties of the Commission. The Commission, in order to ensure fair housing practices within the Borough of Middletown, shall have the following additional powers and duties:

(1) 

To meet and function within the Borough.

(2) 

To recommend to the Borough Council the adoption, promulgation, amendment and rescindment of rules and regulations which are intended to effectuate the policies and provisions of this section.

(3) 

To initiate, receive and refer to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission all complaints charging unlawful discriminatory practices within 90 days after the occurrence of the alleged unlawful practice.

(4) 

To study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships and foster, through community effort or otherwise, goodwill among the groups and elements of the population of the Borough.

(5) 

To issue such publications and such results of investigations and research as, in its judgment, will tend to promote goodwill and minimize or eliminate discrimination.

(6) 

From time to time, but not less than once a year, to report to the Borough Council or the Borough Manager of the Borough of Middletown describing in detail the work it has performed and any recommendations for further legislation concerning abuses and discrimination.

D. 

Procedure.

(1) 

Any individual claiming to be aggrieved by unlawful housing practices may make, sign and, with the assistance of the Commission, file a verified complaint, in writing, to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). The complaint shall state the name and address of the person or persons alleged to have committed the unlawful practice, the particulars thereof and such other information as may be required by the PHRC. The Commission, upon its own initiative, may, in like manner, sign and file a complaint with the PHRC. The Commission, however, shall not accept a complaint from any person who has previously or simultaneously filed a complaint with either the PHRC or any state or federal court of record with respect to the same grievance.

(2) 

When a complaint is received by the Commission, the Commission shall make every effort to assist the complainant to properly file his or her complaint with the PHRC. The Commission or the complainant shall have the power, reasonably and fairly, to amend any complaint.

(3) 

Upon receipt of the complaint, the PHRC shall undertake the execution of the pertinent procedures set forth in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Editor's Note: See 43 P.S. § 951 et seq.
No complaint shall be considered unless it is filed with the Commission and subsequently referred to and filed with the PHRC, or filed directly with the PHRC, within 90 days after the occurrence of the alleged unlawful practice. Any complaint may be withdrawn at any time by the party filing the complaint.

E. 

Conflict. Where a provision of this section is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other ordinance of the Borough of Middletown existing on the effective date of this section or with any regulation issued under the authority of such ordinance, provisions which establish the higher standard for the protection of health, safety and welfare shall prevail.

F. 

Penalty. Any owner, occupant, person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine levied in accordance with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.