[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of New Berlin 10-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2124 as Ch. 21 of the Municipal Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the policy of the city to provide within constitutional limitations for fair housing throughout the city.
It is the intent of this chapter to render unlawful discrimination in housing where the sale, rental or lease of the housing constitutes a business. The city shall assist in the orderly prevention or removal of all discrimination through the powers created under the Wisconsin Statutes. This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the police powers of the city for the protection of the welfare, health, peace, dignity and human rights of the people of the city.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit an owner or his agent from requiring that any person who seeks to buy, rent or lease housing supply information concerning his family, financial and business status, but not concerning sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.
In this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DISCRIMINATE and DISCRIMINATION
- To segregate, separate, exclude or treat any person unequally only because of sex, race, color, handicap, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry. It is intended that the factors set forth herein shall be the sole basis for prohibiting discrimination.
- Any improved property, but does not include:
- A. Any single-family building occupied by the owner as his residence and any single-family building occupied by the owner in which single rooms are rented out for occupancy by three or fewer individuals not members of the owner's family.
- B. Any two-family, owner-occupied dwelling all in one structure, in which one of the dwelling units is rented out for occupancy.
- UNIMPROVED RESIDENTIAL LOT
- Any residential lot upon which no permanent building or structure containing living quarters has been constructed.
It shall be a prohibited discriminatory act for any person to:
Print, broadcast or publish or cause to be printed, broadcast or published any notice or advertisement relating to the transfer, sale, rental or lease of any housing which expresses limitations, specifications or discrimination as to sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.
Refuse to sell, lease, sublease, rent or in any other manner deny, withhold or impair the transfer of title, leasehold or any other interest in any part of any housing or housing accommodation, when such refusal is based to any degree on a consideration of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.
Refuse to lend money or security, guarantee any loan, accept any mortgage or in any other manner make available any other funds or resources for the construction, acquisition, purchase, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any housing or housing accommodation, when such refusal is based to any degree on a consideration of the sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry of the person refused.
Refuse to furnish any facilities or services for any housing or housing accommodation, whether ordinarily provided pursuant to legal duty or local custom, when such refusal is based to any degree on a consideration of the sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry of the person refused.
No person shall do or refuse to do any act which to any degree effects the purpose of any activity prohibited by this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall bar any religious or denominational institution or organization or any charitable or educational organization which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization from limiting admission to or giving preference to such persons of the same religion or denomination or from making such selection as is reasonably calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.
There is hereby created a New Berlin Fair Housing Commission to consist of five members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. One of such members shall be appointed for a term ending May 1, 1969. Two of such members shall be appointed for a term ending May 1, 1970. Two of such members shall be appointed for a term ending May 1, 1971. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for a three-year term. A member shall continue to act until his successor has been appointed and qualified. A member may be removed at any time, at will, by a two-thirds vote of the Council. In the event of a vacancy, an appointment shall be made for the unexpired term.
The Commission shall elect one of its members as Chairman, one of its members as Vice Chairman and one of its members as Secretary, who shall serve for one year terms. The Chairman and, in his absence, the Vice Chairman shall conduct the meetings of the Commission. The Secretary shall keep such minutes and records, and produce such correspondence as may be reasonably required by the Commission. Except for the expense incurred by the Secretary in the performance of his duties, the Commission shall incur no expense as the obligation of the city without prior approval of the Council. All members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
The Fair Housing Commission shall receive and process complaints or violations of this chapter. Complaints must be verified, and must constitute a written statement of the essential facts constituting the discrimination charged. Such complaints must be made within 90 days after the occurrence of the incident upon which they are based.
If the Commission determines that there is clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence of a violation of this chapter, it shall immediately, by conference, conciliation, and persuasion, endeavor to obtain compliance with this chapter. If compliance is obtained, or where the Commission determines that the required evidence of violation does not exist, no public disclosure shall be made of the parties involved, or the incident involved.
Where the Commission concludes that a violation of this chapter has occurred, and compliance has not been obtained, the Commission shall refer such violation to the City Attorney, who may cause an action to be brought in County Court for forfeiture for said violation. The referral to the City Attorney must be signed by a member of the Commission when authorized by a majority vote of the Commission. In any action brought for a violation of this chapter, a jury trial shall be permitted and the burden of proof shall be upon the complainant.
If the Commission concludes that the complaint is not only a violation of this chapter, but also a violation of a state law or a federal law now or hereafter adopted, the Commission by a majority vote may, instead of proceeding under this chapter, refer the matter to the appropriate state or federal officer or agency. Thereafter no further action shall be taken under this chapter, whether by the Commission or the complainant.
The City Attorney shall represent the Commission in all actions brought in court for alleged violation of this chapter.
A complainant under this chapter may bring an action in County Court for forfeiture for violation of this chapter, under the following conditions:
Action must be brought within 10 days after the Commission's decision is mailed to him;
The complainant disagrees with the determination of the Commission that there has been no violation, or that it has been eliminated or remedied; or
The Commission has not acted within 60 days after the filing of the complaint.
If the Commission has made a decision, said decision shall be competent evidence in the County Court action, or any subsequent court action.
No one may bring an action for forfeiture based upon an alleged violation of this chapter except members of the Commission or the City Attorney acting pursuant to this chapter, or a complainant acting under § 116-7 hereof.