Town of Fort Edward, NY
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fort Edward as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-10-1980 by L.L. No. 1-1980]

§ 47-1 Affirmative action by town.

The Town of Fort Edward, as a recipient of funding under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (PL 93-83), as amended in 1977 (PL 95-129), will take affirmative action to ensure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion or sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded, in whole or in part, with community development funds.

§ 47-2 Policy.

It is the policy of the Town of Fort Edward to obey all applicable fair housing laws that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefit of or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity funded, in whole or in part, with community development funds and to affirmatively promote fair housing.

§ 47-3 General regulations.

It shall be the policy of the Town of Fort Edward that the following affirmative actions will be complied with:
A. 
A copy of this article and plan, together with a copy of Executive Order 11063, Title VI, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and copies of state and local fair housing laws shall be kept on file in the town offices.
B. 
HUD-approved discrimination complaint forms will be available to the general public at the town offices.
C. 
Assistance shall be provided to all persons in filing such forms, and all eligible persons shall be referred to Legal Aid for further assistance, if necessary.
D. 
Copies of HUD fair housing pamphlets will be distributed to all interested parties upon request.
E. 
All advertising for the community development program will use the equal housing opportunity logotype and statement.
F. 
The Fair Housing Officer will collect all complaints filed with the town and perform preliminary investigation to ascertain and verify the allegation.
G. 
If the Fair Housing Officer is unable to conciliate the issue, he or she will refer to all the appropriate state and federal agencies (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York State Division of Human Rights).
H. 
The Fair Housing Officer will forward a copy of this article and plan to all local banks and financing organizations and cooperatively work for voluntary compliance with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

§ 47-4 Complaints.

The Town Clerk's office will be opened to the public to receive all discrimination complaints and to assist in the filing of such complaints with the Fair Housing Officer.
[Adopted 3-13-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997]

§ 47-5 Title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Fort Edward Fair Housing Law."

§ 47-6 Purpose; enactment.

The purpose of this article is to provide and ensure fair housing opportunities for all persons within the Town of Fort Edward, County of Washington, State of New York, under the applicable federal and state laws and regulations pertaining thereto, as the same may be amended from time-to-time, and, under the authority of General Municipal and Town Law, hereby obtains, enacts and publishes this article.

§ 47-7 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
General. For the purpose of this article, certain words or phrases herein shall be interpreted as follows, except where the context clearly indicates the contrary: words used in the singular include the plural; words used in the present tense include the future tense; the word "person" includes a corporation as well as an individual; and the word "shall" is always mandatory.
B. 
Specific words or phrases. For the purpose of this article, certain terms or words herein shall be interpreted as follows:
AGGRIEVED PERSON
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(i), as amended.
COMPLAINANT
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(j), as amended.
CONCILIATION
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(m), as amended.
CONCILIATION AGREEMENT
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(m), as amended.
DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(f), and 24 CFR, Part 100, as amended, and shall include an act that is unlawful under § 3604, 3605, 3606 or 3617 of Chapter 45 of Title 42 of the United States Code, as amended.
DWELLING
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(b), as amended.
FAMILIAL STATUS
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(k), as amended.
FAMILY
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 10602(c), as amended.
HANDICAP
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(h), as amended.
PERSON
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(d), as amended.
PREVAILING PARTY
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 1988, as amended.
RESPONDENT
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(n), as amended.
TO RENT
The meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(e), as amended.

§ 47-8 Discrimination in sale or rental of housing prohibited.

Except as exempted by § 47-11, it shall be unlawful within the Town of Fort Edward to:
A. 
Refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
B. 
Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
C. 
Make, print or publish, or cause to be made, printed or published any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex handicap, familial status or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.
D. 
Represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.
E. 
For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person of a particular race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
F. 
Refuse a physically or mentally disabled person (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS related complex and mental retardation that substantially limit one or more major life activities) to make reasonable modifications to a dwelling or common use area, at the expense of the person with the disability, if necessary for the handicapped person to use the housing.
G. 
Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services, if necessary for the handicapped person to use the housing.

§ 47-9 Discrimination in financing of housing prohibited.

It shall be unlawful in the Town of Fort Edward for any bank, building and loan association, insurance company or other corporation, association, firm or enterprise whose business consists in whole or in part in the making of commercial real estate loans to deny a loan or other financial assistance to a person applying therefor for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing or maintaining a dwelling or to discriminate against him or her in the fixing of the amount, interest rate, duration or other terms or conditions of such loan or other financial assistance because of the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of such person or any person associated with him in connection with such loan or other financial assistance, or the purposes of such loan or other financial assistance, or the present or prospective owner, lessee, tenant or occupant of the dwelling in relation to which such loan or other financial assistance is to be made or given, provided that nothing contained in this section shall impair the scope or effectiveness of the exemptions contained in § 47-11.

§ 47-10 Discrimination in provision of brokerage services prohibited.

It shall be unlawful within the Town of Fort Edward to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate broker's organization or other service organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings; or to discriminate against him or her in terms or conditions of such access, membership or participation on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

§ 47-11 Exemptions.

A. 
Sales/rentals by owners. Nothing in § 47-8 (other than § 47-8C) shall apply to the sales/rental by owners to owner's family members.
[Amended 7-12-1999 by L.L. No. 1-1999]
B. 
Sales/rentals by religious organizations. Nothing in this article 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, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Nor shall anything in this article prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

§ 47-12 Complaints; filing; processing; disposition.

A. 
Any aggrieved person may file a complaint in person or by mail to:
(1) 
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410-2000;
(2) 
Any regional or field office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; or
(3) 
The Town Fair Housing Officer, who shall immediately file a copy thereof with the regional or field office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with a request for a determination as to whether such complaint will be referred to said Officer for administrative disposition.
B. 
A complaint may be filed with the assistance of an authorized representative of an aggrieved person, including any organization acting on behalf of an aggrieved person.
C. 
No complaint shall be filed more than one year after an alleged discriminatory housing practice has occurred or terminated.
D. 
A complaint shall be made on the form prescribed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and shall contain all of the information required therein and thereby.
E. 
A complaint may be reasonably and fairly amended at any time as permitted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or, upon referral, by the Town Fair Housing Officer.
F. 
The respondent may file an answer to any complaint not later than 10 days after receipt of notice from either the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Fair Housing Officer of the filing of such complaint.
G. 
Any complaint and any answer shall be affirmed by the person filing the same.
H. 
Upon referral by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development of a complaint duly filed therewith to the Fair Housing Officer, the Fair Housing Office shall service notice, by certified mail or personal service, upon both the complainant and the respondent containing the following:
(1) 
Acknowledge the referral of the complaint, stating the date that the complaint was accepted for filing and that the respondent must file an answer within 10 days.
(2) 
Include a copy of the complaint.
(3) 
Advise the aggrieved person and the respondent of the time limits applicable to complaint processing and disposition, and of the procedural rights and obligations of the aggrieved person, under this article.
(4) 
Advise the aggrieved person and the respondent that the aggrieved person has the right to commence a civil action under § 813 of the Fair Housing Act in an appropriate United States District Court not later than two years after the occurrence or termination of the alleged discriminatory housing practice and states that the computation of said two-year period excludes any time during which this administrative proceeding is pending and includes the time period during which an action arising from a breach of conciliation agreement under § 814(b)(2) of the Fair Housing Act is pending.
(5) 
Advise the aggrieved person and the respondent that retaliation against any person because he or she made a complaint or testified, assisted or participated in an investigation or conciliation under this article is a discriminatory housing practice that is prohibited under this article and § 818 of the Fair Housing Act.
I. 
The Town Supervisor or his/her designated agent is hereby designated to be the administrative enforcement officer of this article, and the following powers and duties are hereby delegated to him/her:
(1) 
To investigate the allegations of any complaint, including the power to issue subpoenas in connection with such investigation, and complete the investigation in not more than 100 days after receipt of the complaint, unless it is impracticable to do so, in which event, he/she shall notify the complainant and the respondent in writing of the reasons therefor.
(2) 
Following completion of the investigation, to issue a final investigative report, which may be amended at any time if additional evidence is discovered, containing at least the following:
(a) 
The names and dates of contact with witnesses.
(b) 
A summary of each witness' statement.
(c) 
A summary and the dates of correspondence and other contacts with the aggrieved person and the respondent.
(d) 
A summary description of other pertinent records.
(3) 
To conciliate the matters set forth in any complaint and approve any conciliation agreement arising out of such conciliation efforts.
(4) 
To make a final administrative disposition of a complaint, after providing the complainant and the respondent with a copy of the final investigative report and thereafter affording the complainant and the respondent of the right to be heard and present evidence in connection with the complaint and/or said final investigative report, within one year of the date of receipt of a compliant, unless it is impracticable to do so, in which event, he/she shall notify the complainant and the respondent in writing of the reasons therefor.
J. 
In making a final administrative disposition, or in approving any conciliation agreement, the Fair Housing Office shall have the power and authority to grant to the prevailing party actual damages, injunctive or other equitable relief and/or to assess a civil penalty not in excess of $1,000.
K. 
Any approved conciliation agreement shall be made public unless the complainant and respondent otherwise agree and the Fair Housing Officer determines that disclosure is not required in order to further the purpose of this article.
L. 
A final administrative disposition shall be subject to judicial review by a proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules and venue in Washington County Supreme Court, provided that such proceeding is commenced within 30 days of the receipt of such final administrative disposition by the person commencing such proceeding.

§ 47-13 Amendment; conflict with other provisions.

A. 
Amendment. The Town Board may, on its own initiative or petition, amend, supplement or repeal the provisions of this article in conformity with applicable law after public notice and hearing.
B. 
Interpretation. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this article shall be held to be minimum requirements, adopted for the promotion of the public health, morals, safety or the general welfare. Whenever the requirements of this article are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or ordinances, the most restrictive, or that imposing the highest standards, shall govern.