HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1591

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to housing.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to prohibit discrimination, based on a veteran's use of a housing assistance voucher issued pursuant to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs supportive housing (HUD-VASH) program, in the rental of real estate, including advertisements for available rental units.

SECTION 2. Chapter 521, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding four new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"521-   Discriminatory practices; veterans. (a) In addition to the discriminatory practices provided in section 521-3, it is a discriminatory practice for a person engaging in a rental transaction pursuant to this chapter, because a renter or potential renter is a veteran who uses a housing assistance voucher, to:

(1) Refuse to engage in a rental transaction with the veteran;

(2) Discriminate against the veteran in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a rental transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection with a rental transaction;

(3) Refuse to receive or to fail to transmit a bona fide offer to engage in a rental transaction from the veteran;

(4) Refuse to negotiate for a rental transaction with the veteran;

(5) Represent to the veteran that premises are not available for inspection, rental, or lease when in fact the premises are available, or to fail to bring a property listing to the veteran's attention, or to refuse to permit the veteran to inspect premises, or to steer the veteran away from seeking to engage in a rental transaction;

(6) Offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of premises with the understanding that the veteran may be discriminated against in a rental transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection with a rental transaction; or

(7) Discriminate against or deny the veteran access to, or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, or other service, organization, or facility involved either directly or indirectly in rental transactions, or to discriminate against the veteran in the terms or conditions of access, membership, or participation.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit a person from determining the ability of a potential renter to pay rent by:

(1) Verifying, in a commercially reasonable manner, the source and amount of income of the potential renter; or

(2) Evaluating, in a commercially reasonable manner, the stability, security, and credit worthiness of the potential renter or any source of income of the potential renter.

521-   Restrictive covenants and conditions; veterans. (a) Every provision in an oral agreement or a written instrument relating to premises that purports to forbid or restrict the occupancy or lease thereof with regard to veterans who use housing assistance vouchers is void.

(b) Every condition, restriction, or prohibition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly limits the use or occupancy of premises on the basis of a veteran's use of a housing assistance voucher is void.

(c) It is a discriminatory practice to insert in a written instrument relating to premises a provision that is void under this section or to honor or attempt to honor such a provision in the chain of title.

521-   Blockbusting; veterans. It is a discriminatory practice for a person for the purpose of inducing a rental transaction from which the person may benefit financially, because a renter or potential renter is a veteran who uses a housing assistance voucher, to:

(1) Represent that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition of the owners or occupants in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the premises are located; or

(2) Represent that this change will or may result in the lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior, or a decline in the quality of schools in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the premises are located.

521-   Other discriminatory practices. It is a discriminatory practice for a person, or for two or more persons to conspire to:

(1) Retaliate, threaten, or discriminate against a person because of the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by this chapter, or because the person has opposed a discriminatory practice, or because the person has made a charge, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this chapter;

(2) Aid, abet, incite, or coerce a person to engage in a discriminatory practice;

(3) Interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by this chapter or with the performance of a duty or the exercise of a power by any person or agency charged with enforcing this chapter;

(4) Obstruct or prevent a person from complying with this chapter or an order issued pursuant to this chapter;

(5) Intimidate or threaten any person engaging in activities designed to make other persons aware of, or encouraging other persons to exercise rights granted or protected by this chapter;

(6) Threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a veteran in his or her enjoyment of premises, because of the veteran's use of a housing assistance voucher, or of visitors or associates of the persons; or

(7) Print, circulate, post, or mail, or cause to be published a statement, advertisement, or sign, or to use a form of application for a rental transaction, or to make a record or inquiry in connection with a prospective rental transaction, that indicates, directly or indirectly, an intent to make a limitation or specification, or to discriminate because of a veteran's use of a housing assistance voucher."

SECTION 3. Section 521-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Housing assistance voucher" means a voucher issued to a veteran pursuant to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs supportive housing (HUD-VASH) program.

"Rental transaction" means any part of a process or transaction for the rental or lease of premises.

"Veteran" means any person who served in any of the uniformed services of the United States and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2016.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Discrimination in Rental Transactions; Veterans; HUD-VASH Vouchers

 

Description:

Prohibits discrimination in the rental of real property based on a veteran's use of HUD-VASH vouchers.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.