New Law in Connecticut Bans Discrimination in Private Housing

A new state law was in effect in Connecticut today which bans discrimination in wide areas of private housing because of race, creed or color. Violators are subject to fines and prison terms.

The new law applies to apartment buildings with five or more living units, housing developments and other groups of five or more houses situated on adjoining lots. The measure, which was adopted as an amendment to the state’s public accommodations anti-bias law, makes the Connecticut Civil Rights Commission the enforcement agency.

Under the law, an individual who believes that an owner of private housing in the specified categories has refused to rent or sell a house because of discriminatory reasons can complain to the commission, which will then order its field representative to investigate the complaint.

If the representative’s findings indicate the possibility of bias, the commission can call a public hearing with three examiners. If the examiners determine that bias was involved, they can direct the commission to issue a cease and desist order to the violator. The commission can ask the Connecticut Supreme Court for an order to comply if the violator refuses. Failure to comply with the court order can result in fines or jail sentences or both.

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