Military Status & Fair Housing

Military Status & Fair Housing

On November 7, 2019, House Bill No. 5224 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives to add military status as a protected class under the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA).

The bill defines military status to include those in active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and veterans who received honorable or general administrative discharge from active duty.

Unfortunately, the bill was referred to a committee with no further action taken. Michigan and most states do not specifically protect military status or veterans against housing discrimination at this time.

Notwithstanding their service to our country, combat veterans have found some landlords uncomfortable renting to them. On other occasions, veterans have found landlords reluctant to accept VA vouchers.

Although veterans are not yet specifically covered under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the ELCRA, veterans can be included in other protected class categories. For example, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) may receive protection from discrimination based on disability under the FHA and the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

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