Town of Woodruff, WI
Oneida County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodruff 2-11-1986 as § 9.18 of the 1986 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 277-1 Declaration of policy.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town in the exercise of its police power for the public safety, health and general welfare to assure equal opportunity to all persons to live in decent housing facilities regardless of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry and to that end to prohibit discrimination in housing by any person.

§ 277-2 Definitions.

The following definitions shall be applicable in this chapter:
DISCRIMINATION or DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE
Any difference in treatment based upon 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 or any act that is prohibited under this chapter.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
Includes any person, as defined herein, engaged in the business of lending money or guaranteeing loans.
HOUSING ACCOMMODATION or DWELLING
Any building, mobile home or trailer, structure or portion thereof which is occupied or designed or intended for occupancy as a residence of one or more persons; or any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, mobile home or trailer, structure or portion thereof; or any real property, as defined herein, used or intended to be used for any of the purposes set forth in this definition.
MORTGAGE BROKER
Any individual who is engaged in or who performs the business or services of a mortgage broker as the same are defined by the Wisconsin Statutes.
OPEN MARKET
The market which is informed of the availability for sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation, whether informed through a real estate broker or by advertising by publication, signs or by any other advertising methods directed to the public or any portion thereof indicating that the property is available for sale, purchase, rental or lease.
OWNER
Includes a lessee, sublessee, cotenant, assignee, managing agent or other person having the right of ownership or possession or the right to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation.
PERSON
Includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint ventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations and all other groups or combinations.
REAL ESTATE BROKER or REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON
Includes any individual, qualified by law, who for a fee, commission, salary or other valuable consideration, or who with the intention or expectation of receiving or collecting the same, lists, sells, purchases, rents or leases any housing accommodation, including options thereupon; or who negotiates or attempts to negotiate a loan, secured by mortgage or other encumbrance, upon transfer of any housing accommodation; or who is engaged in the business of charging an advanced fee or contracting for collection of a fee in connection with a contract whereby he undertakes to promote the sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation through its listing in a publication issued primarily for such purpose; or an individual employed by or acting on behalf of any of these.
REAL PROPERTY
Includes buildings, structures, lands, tenements, leaseholds, cooperatives and condominiums.

§ 277-3 Unlawful practices.

A. 
In connection with any of the transactions set forth in this chapter which affect any housing accommodation on the open market or in connection with any public sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation within the Town, no person, owner, financial institution, real estate broker or real estate salesperson or any representative of the above shall:
(1) 
Refuse to sell, purchase, rent or lease or deny to or withhold any housing accommodation from a person because 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.
(2) 
Discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith.
(3) 
Refuse to receive or transmit a bona fide offer to sell, purchase, rent or lease any housing accommodation from or to a person because 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.
(4) 
Refuse to negotiate for the sale, purchase, rental or lease of any housing accommodation to a person because of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.
(5) 
Represent to a person that any housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, purchase, rental or lease when in fact it is so available or refuse to permit a person to inspect any housing accommodation because of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.
(6) 
Make, publish, print, circulate, post or mail or cause to be made, published, printed, circulated, posted or mailed any notice, statement or advertisement or announce a policy or sign or use a form of application for the sale, purchase, rental, lease or financing of any housing accommodation or make a record of inquiry in connection with the prospective sale, purchase, rental, lease or financing of any housing accommodation which indicates any discrimination or any intent to make a discrimination.
(7) 
Offer, solicit, accept or use a listing of any housing accommodation for sale, purchase, rental or lease with the understanding that a person may be subjected to discrimination in connection with such sale, purchase, rental or lease or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith.
(8) 
Induce directly or attempt to induce directly or indirectly the sale, purchase, rental or lease, or the listing for any of the above, of any housing accommodation by representing that the presence or anticipated presence of persons of any particular sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry in the area to be affected by such sale, purchase, rental or lease will or may result in either:
(a) 
The lowering of property values in the area.
(b) 
An increase in criminal or antisocial behavior in the area.
(c) 
A decline in the quality of schools serving the area.
(9) 
Make any misrepresentations concerning the listing for sale, purchase, rental or lease or the anticipated listing of any housing accommodation in any area of the Town for the purpose of including or attempting to include any such listing for any of the above transactions.
(10) 
Engage in, hire to be done or conspire with others to commit acts or activities of any nature, the purpose of which is to coerce, cause panic, incite unrest or create or play upon fear, with the intent of either discouraging or inducing, or attempting to induce, the sale, purchase, rental or lease, or the listing for any of the above, of any housing accommodation.
(11) 
Retaliate or discriminate in any manner against a person because he has opposed a practice declared unlawful by this chapter or because he has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, hearing or conference under this chapter.
(12) 
Aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce any person to engage in any of the practices prohibited by this chapter or obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this chapter or any order issued thereunder.
(13) 
By canvassing, commit any unlawful practices prohibited by this chapter.
(14) 
Otherwise deny to or withhold any housing accommodation from a person because 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.
(15) 
Deny any qualified person access to or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate brokers' organization, or other service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings or discriminate against such person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership or participation on account 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.
B. 
It shall be unlawful 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 such person in the fixing of the amount, interest rate, duration, or other terms or conditions of such loan or other financial assistance, because 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.

§ 277-4 Exemptions.

This chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Any religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by a religious organization, association or society, which limits the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings that it owns or operates for other than commercial purposes to persons of the same religion, or gives preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, handicap, national origin, sex or marital status of the person maintaining a household, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
A private club not in fact open to the public which, incident to its primary purpose or purposes, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose and which limits the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members, or gives preference to its members, unless membership in such club is discriminatorily limited.
C. 
Any single-family house sold or rented by the owner, provided that such private individual owner does not own more than two such single-family houses in the Town at one time; in the case of the sale of any such single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in such house at the time of such sale or who was not the most recent resident of such house prior to such sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one such sale within any twenty-four-month period; such bona fide private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or served on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than two such single-family houses at any one time; and the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be excepted from the application of this chapter only if such house is sold or rented without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sale or rental services of any real estate broker, agent or salesman or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman or person and without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c) or of § 277-3 of this chapter, but nothing in this provision shall prohibit the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies and other such professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer the title.
D. 
Rooms or units in dwellings containing 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 such living quarters as his residence.

§ 277-5 Complaint procedure.

Any person aggrieved by an unlawful practice prohibited by this chapter may file a complaint with the Town Attorney within 30 days after the aggrieved person becomes aware of the alleged unlawful practice and in no event more than 180 days after the alleged unlawful practice occurred. The Town Attorney or his authorized representative shall investigate each complaint and attempt to resolve it. Failure to achieve a resolution acceptable to both parties and in compliance with this chapter shall cause the Town Attorney to forward the complaint and findings to appropriate state and federal officials.

§ 277-6 Other remedies.

Nothing herein contained shall prevent any person from exercising any right or seeking any remedy to which he might otherwise be entitled or from filing his complaint with any appropriate governmental agency.

§ 277-7 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as provided in § 106.50, Wis. Stats.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 277-8 Conflicting provisions; intent.

A. 
This chapter shall take precedence over any conflicting Town ordinances, laws and resolutions now in effect that tend to abrogate any covenants declared herein.
B. 
The intent of this chapter is to remove any question of the affirmative action policy of the Town concerning fair housing, as of the effective date.