Chapter 15A: Housing

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CONTENTS

ARTICLE I.  FAIR HOUSING

§ 15A-1.     Declaration of policy.

§ 15A-2.     Definitions.

§ 15A-3.     Discriminatory practices.

§ 15A-4.     Discrimination in financing a house.

§ 15A-5.     Exemptions.

§ 15A-6.     Administration.

§ 15A-7.     Enforcement.

§ 15A-8.     Severability.

§ 15A-9.     Savings clause.

§§ 15A-10 to 15A-14.  Reserved.

Chapter 15A

HOUSING

ARTICLE I

FAIR HOUSING

Sec. 15A-1.  Declaration of Policy.

        The city council of the City of St. James hereby declares it to be the public policy of the City to eliminate discrimination and safeguard the right of any person to sell, purchase, rent or obtain real property without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, handicap and familial status.  This ordinance shall be deemed an exercise of the police powers of the City of St. James, Missouri, for the protection of the public welfare, prosperity, health and peace of the people of St. James.  (Ord. 493, §1; Ord. 578)

Sec. 15A-2.  Definitions.

        For the purpose of this ordinance the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein unless the context otherwise indicates.

        Aggrieved persons shall include any person who is attempting to provide housing for himself and/or his family in the City of St. James, Missouri.

        Discriminate shall mean distinctions in treatment because of race, sex, color, religion or national origin of any person.

        Person shall include any individual, firm, partnership or corporation.  (Ord. 493, §2; Ord. 578)

Sec. 15A-3.  Discriminatory practices.

        It shall be a discriminatory practice and a violation of this ordinance for any person 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, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status.

        (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, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status.

        (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, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

        (d)   Represent to any person because of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status, 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 or a person or persons of a particular race, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status.

        (f)    Bars discrimination in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of a handicap, and requires the design and construction of new multifamily dwelling with four (4) or more units to meet certain adaptability and accessibility requirements.

        (g)   Bars discrimination in the sale or rental of housing because a family has children, but exempts certain types of buildings that house older persons, e.g. Section 202 housing.  (Ord. 493, §3; Ord. 578)

Sec. 15A-4.  Discrimination in the financing of a house.

        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 commercial real estate loans, to deny a loan to a person applying therefore for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, repairing or maintaining a dwelling, or to discriminate against him in the fixing of the amount or conditions of such loan, because of the race, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap and familial status of such person or of any person associated with him in connection with such financing.  (Ord. 493, §4; Ord. 578)

Sec. 15A-5.  Exemptions.

        The provisions of this ordinance, and particularly Section 15A-3 hereof, shall not apply to the following:

        (a)   A rental or leasing of a dwelling unit in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than two (2) families living independently of each other, if the owner or members of his family reside in such dwelling unit.

        (b)   A rental or leasing to less than five (5) persons living in a dwelling unit by the owner if the owner or members of his family reside therein.

        (c)   Any single family house sold or rented by an owner provided that such house is sold or rented:

 (1)  without the use of sales or rental facilities or services of real estate brokers, agents, salesmen, or persons in the business of selling or renting dwelling, and

 (2)  without the publication, posting or mailing of any advertisement in violation of Section 15A-3(c) of this ordinance, provided however, that:

 (1)  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, and

 (2)  that any such private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or reserved 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 three such single family houses at any one time.

        (d)   For the purposes of subsection (d), a person shall be in the business of selling or renting dwelling if:

 (1)  he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

(2)   he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his own personal residence in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

 (3)  he is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy, by or occupied by five or more families.  (Ord. 493, §5.)

Section 15A-6.  Administration.

        (a)   There is hereby created a Fair Housing Committee whose membership shall consist of five members, who shall be appointed by the mayor of the City with the approval of the city council.

        (b)   Every complaint of a violation of this ordinance shall be referred to the Fair Housing Committee.  The Fair Housing Committee shall forthwith notify the person against whom the complain is made.  The identity of the aggrieved person shall be made known to the person against whom the complaint is made at that time.  If the Fair Housing Committee, after investigation, finds there is no merit to the complaint, the same shall be dismissed.  If the Fair Housing Committee finds that there is merit in the complaint, in their opinion, then and in that event, the Fair Housing Committee will endeavor to eliminate the alleged discriminatory practice by conference and conciliation.

        (c)   If the Fair Housing Committee is unable to eliminate the alleged discriminatory practice by a conference and conciliation, then and in that event, the Fair Housing Committee shall forward said complaint to the city attorney for handling.  The final determination of whether or not to prosecute on said complaint shall be left to the city attorney.  (Ord. 493, §6.)

Sec. 15A-7.  Enforcement.

        (a)   Any person convicted of a violation of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00) or by confinement in the city jail for not more than thirty (3) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

        (b)   The city attorney, instead of filing a complaint in municipal court of said city, may, as an alternative remedy, seek to have the alleged discriminatory practices abated by an action for an injunction to be maintained in the appropriate circuit court of the State of Missouri.  (Ord. 493, §7.)

Sec. 15A-8.  Severability.

        If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of these standards shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this ordinance which shall continue in full force and effect.  To this end the provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable.  (Ord. 493, §8.)

Sec. 15A-9.  Savings clause.

        This ordinance shall not affect violations of any other ordinance, code or regulation of the City of St.Save James existing prior to the effective date hereof.  Any such violations shall be governed and shall continue to be punishable to the full extent of the law under the provisions of those ordinance, codes or regulations in effect at the time the violation was committed.  (Ord. 493, §9.)

Secs. 15A-10 to 15A-14.  Reserved.