Pittsburgh Authorities to Act on Violations of Anti-bias Ordinance

The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, official agency for enforcement of the city’s Fair Housing Practices Law, said today that it was interested primarily in obtaining voluntary compliance with the law but would actively enforce it if necessary. It pointed out that violations of the ordinance are punishable by fine and imprisonment.

The city ordinance, which became effective June 1, bars discrimination in real estate transactions on the grounds of race, religion or color. It applies to all housing of five or more units. Pittsburgh was the second city in the United States, following New York City, to enact such legislation.

In a guide to the new legislation, the Commission gave detailed information on the practices outlawed by the ordinance and the procedures to be followed. It pointed out that complaints were to be made to the Commission which would investigate them and where substantiated, seek to settle them by conciliation or persuasion. In the event of failure, the Commission can hold a public hearing and issue orders to eliminate the violation. If these orders are not obeyed, it can then take court action through the city solicitor.

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