At the December 5, 2017 Broward County Commission meeting, Commissioners Dale Holness and Nan Rich sponsored an ordinance to expand the Broward County Human Rights Act.
The Broward County Human Rights Act secures all individuals within Broward County freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or gender identity or expression, in connection with employment, public accommodations, and real estate transactions, and promotes the interests, rights, and privileges of individuals within Broward County.
The expansion of the ordinance will include additional protection from housing discrimination, these additional categories now include members of the armed forces, veterans of the armed forces, protection for those who receive governmental assistance such as Section 8 vouchers, rental assistance programs, and victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
No stranger to advocating for fair housing and ensuring each person’s civil rights are not violated, in September 2013 Commissioner Holness sponsored an ordinance which amended Broward County’s Human Rights Act to include protection if an applicant for housing is denied by a homeowners’, condominium or cooperative association in Broward County, the applicant must receive a written notice explaining the reason for the denial within 45 days of the filing. In addition, applicants must also be notified if their application is not properly filled out within 15 days of the application date. Because of his advocacy, Commissioner Holness was awarded the Answer the Call Award by the Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (HOPE) Inc., an organization dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and promoting fair housing in Broward and Miami-Dade.
Since 2015 Commissioner Holness has been a member of the Broward Housing Council which works with Broward County government, cities, the business community and not-for-profit groups to address housing issues including, but not limited to, affordable housing, workforce housing and homelessness. Commissioner Rich sits on the statewide Affordable Housing Workgroup and is also a member of the Continuum of Care Board, which is Broward County’s local planning group that works to end homelessness.
“I will continue to fight for fair housing for all Broward County residents, this is why the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was instituted, it is the right of Americans to have equal access to housing,” said Holness.