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Ending Discrimination in Housing for Veterans is Focus of House Bill

Housing discrimination of veterans is the focus of recently introduced House Bill 768.  Initiated by State Representative Sandra Scott (D-Rex), the legislation would prohibit discrimination against veterans who seek to purchase or lease housing.  “Under no circumstances should a veteran be discriminated against when he or she is trying to buy or rent a home,” said Rep. Scott.

HB 768 would prohibit the refusal to sell, rent or lease housing to any person who is currently serving, or has served, in the U.S. armed forces.  Under HB 768, it would be illegal to refuse to negotiate for the sale, rental or lease of housing accommodations based on a person’s military status, as well as making a representation that a housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is in fact available.

Under HB 768 it would be illegal to harass, evict or otherwise discriminate against a veteran in regard to their housing or their status as a member of the U.S. armed forces or to request information about a person’s current or former involvement with the U.S. armed forces.  An individual, bank, mortgage company or other financial institution would not be able to determine an individual’s eligibility for financial assistance based on a borrower’s status or history with the U.S. armed forces.  HB 768 would also give veterans a private right of action against any person who engages in this discrimination, and the person would be entitled to attorney fees and all litigation expenses.  Violations of the proposed law would be considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

“Veterans have paved a way for us to be safe in this world, and we should always treat them with the utmost respect.  We must value our veterans more in Georgia,” said Rep. Scott.

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