Otero County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County 1-29-1996 by Ord. No. 95-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Civil rights — See Ch. 12.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Human Rights Act — See NMSA 1978, § 28-1-1 et seq.
It is the policy of the County of Otero to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the County, and to achieve a condition in which individuals with similar financial resources and interests in the same housing market area have a like range of housing choices available to them regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSION
The New Mexico Human Rights Commission.
DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE
Those prohibited practices and acts specified in § 125-3 of this chapter.
DWELLING
Any building, or portion of building, or portion of building constructed or to be constructed, for use as the residence or sleeping place of any individual; and any lands, leaseholds or commercial or industrial buildings, whether constructed or to be constructed, offered for sale or rent for use as the residence or sleeping place of any individual.
PERSON
Includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees and fiduciaries.
A. 
No person shall:
(1) 
Refuse to sell, rent, assign, lease or sublease or offer for sale, rental, lease, assignment or sublease any dwelling to any person, or refuse to negotiate for the sale, rental, lease, assignment or sublease of any dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, or physical or mental handicap.
(2) 
Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, or physical or mental handicap.
(3) 
Print, circulate, display or mail or cause to be printed, circulated, displayed or mailed any notice, statement or advertisement, publication or sign or use any form of application for the purchase, rental, lease, assignment or sublease of any dwelling or to make any record or inquiry regarding the prospective purchase, rental, lease, assignment or sublease of any dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.
(4) 
Represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when such dwelling is, in fact, so available.
B. 
No person to whom application is made for financial assistance for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any dwelling shall:
(1) 
Consider the race, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap of any individual in the granting, withholding, extending, modifying or renewing or in the fixing of the rates, terms, conditions or provisions of any financial assistance or in the extension of services in connection with the request for financial assistance.
(2) 
Use any form or application for financial assistance or make any record or inquiry in connection with applications for financial assistance or make any record or inquiry in connection with applications for financial assistance which expresses, directly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap.
C. 
No person shall:
(1) 
Aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of a discriminatory housing practice, or attempt to do so;
(2) 
Engage in any form or threats, reprisal or discrimination against any person who has opposed any discriminatory housing practice or who has filed complaint, testified or participated in any proceeding under this chapter; or
(3) 
Willfully obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this chapter.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall:
A. 
Apply to any single-family dwelling sold, leased, subleased or rented by an owner without the making of any notice; statement or advertisement with respect to the sale, lease, sublease or rental of the dwelling unit that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap. Any exemption is subject to the following further reservations:
(1) 
To qualify for the exemption the seller must not be an owner of or own or have an interest in more than three single-family dwellings; and
(2) 
If the seller does not presently live in the dwelling or he was not the most recent occupant, the exemption granted in this subsection will only apply to one sale in 24 months;
B. 
Bar any religious or denominational institution or organization which is operated or supervised or controlled by, or is operated in connection with, a religious or denominational organization from limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from making selections of buyers, lessees or tenants as the organization or denomination may consider necessary to promote religious or denominational principles for which it is established or maintained unless membership in the religious or denominational organization is restricted on account of race, color, sex, national origin, ancestry or physical or mental handicap; and
C. 
Apply to rooms or dwellings contained in living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of the living quarters as his residence.
Any person who claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice or who has reason to believe that discrimination has occurred may file a complaint with the Otero County Administrator. The complaint shall be in writing and it shall contain such information and be in such form as may be required by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. Upon receipt of any complaint alleging discriminatory housing practice, the Otero County Administrator shall promptly forward it to the New Mexico Human Rights Commission at Santa Fe, New Mexico, for such action as may be deemed appropriate by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission under NMSA 1953, §§ 4-33-1 through 4-33-13;[1] and a copy of such complaint shall, at the same time, be forwarded to the Equal Opportunity Division of the Regional Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Dallas, Texas, it being recognized that the New Mexico Human Rights Commission and/or the Department of Housing and Urban Development have primary jurisdiction over complaints of discrimination in housing, and that such agencies have the facilities for investigation and processing of such complaints and appropriate sanctions and penalties for denial of equal housing opportunities. The only enforcement action to be taken by the County hereunder shall be the forwarding of complaints to said agencies, and no other action toward enforcement or penalty is imposed upon Otero County with respect to any alleged discriminatory housing practice.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Human Rights Act, NMSA 1978, § 28-1-1 et seq.