PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Housing Discrimination Still Legal in VA?

February 3, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - Housing discrimination holdovers from the 1960s remain on the books in Virginia, and there's legislation in the works to change that. Amy Nelson, director of systemic investigations and enforcement for the group Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, says property owners with three or fewer single-family homes are currently exempt from most of the anti-discrimination provisions of Virginia's Fair Housing laws.

Therefore, she says, it is still technically legal for them to discriminate against potential renters or buyers based on sex, religion, national origin, age, or having children or a disability.

"Somebody could say, 'I'm not going to rent to you because you have kids,' or 'because you're Hispanic,' or 'because you are white.' They could legally do that, in this exempt type of property."

Nelson estimates about 150,000 single-family residences in the Commonwealth are exempt from the fair housing laws. In her view, an anti-discrimination law should apply to all homeowners.

"Why should the cutoff be at three single family homes? Why is it okay for individuals who have three homes to discriminate, but yet it's not okay for those who have four or more?"

Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R-68) of Richmond has introduced a bill (HB 103) to remove the exemption and include all property owners into line with fair housing law enforcement. However, it has received strong opposition from some business groups in the state, who claim imposing a new law on small landlords would create unnecessary legal and financial roadblocks for them.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA