Hawaii's Fair Housing Act|
From the President's Desk (Marguerite Simson)
LWV of Hawaii Was Present
Local League Briefs
Report on the Con-Con (Alice Scott)
Recommended Reading for Campaign Practices
Officers - League of Women Voters of Hawaii - Board Members
Hawaii's Fair Housing Act
Hawaii's Fair Housing Act preceded the new Federal Civil Rights Bill by one year. It appears in the Revised Laws of Hawaii as Act 193 Relating to the Prevention of Discrimination in Real Property Transactions. It was introduced in the 1967 General Session of the Legislature as Senate Bill No. 786. It was passed and took effect upon approval by Gov. John Burns, June 4, 1967. According to the report of the House Judiciary Committee, this bill reflects many of the provisions of the Model Anti-Discrimination Act of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. In the words of the standing committee's report:
A Bill for an Act Relating to the Prevention of Discrimination in Real Property Transactions. PURPOSE. (a) The purpose of this Act is to secure for all individuals within the State freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in connection with real property transactions, and thereby to protect their interest in personal dignity, to make available to the State their full productive capacities, to secure the State against domestic strife and unrest, to preserve the public safety, health and general welfare, and to promote the interests, rights and privileges of individuals within the State.
SUMMARY OF BASIC PROVISIONS
It is forbidden to practice any of the following because of race, color, religion or national origin:
The Act recognizes that to be effective there must be provisions prohibiting discrimination by financial institutions.
Discrimination is forbidden in considering applications for financial aid to purchase, construct or improve property; or to use restrictions in contracts.
Exempted from the above provisions are:
Enforcement of the provisions of this Act is placed in the Department of Regulatory Agencies whose authority includes protection of consumer interests, supervision of financial institutions, and administration of the real estate license commission. It has the power to investigate, seek to conciliate, hold hearings and to pass on complaints; and to otherwise effectuate the purposes of this Act.
A sum of $20,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated to the department for enforcement.
COMPLAINT PROCEEDINGS. Section 10
HEARINGS-OTHER ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS
Other provisions of the Act insure the respondent a fair hearing on a complaint.
Should discrimination be proved, the complainant is assured of the advantages, facilities, privileges and services of the respondent. He may receive (a) payment of profits obtained by the respondent through violation, or (b) payment of damages caused by the discriminatory practice including a reasonable attorney's fee. Unless greater damages are shown, damages may be assessed at $500 for each violation.
Thirty days after an order is issued, unless a judicial review is pending, the department may publish the name of a person engaged in a discriminatory practice.
A complainant or respondent aggrieved by an order of the department may obtain a judicial review.
OTHER DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES
NAACP SPOKESMAN EXPRESSES AN OPINION
Asked to express an opinion about this legislation, a spokesman for the Hawaii branch of the NAACP said that he is glad that Hawaii has this law. He expressed some concern, however, over Section 10(b), an amendment added by the House Judiciary Committee which says: "The respondent is entitled to recover from the complainant attorney's fee, not to exceed $100." To date there % have been no complaints made under this law to the Department of Agencies, and he believes that this section may have been a deterrent. A recent case of alleged discrimination is under study by an NAACP lawyer who expects to bring it before the department.
WHAT IS A GHETTO???
"Right away we think of a city slum. But there is another kind of ghetto--an interior ghetto of the mind where we seal off parts of democracy that don't suit us, where we box off our obligations to justice and shut out our commitments to fairness . . . Right now all of us have ghettos to get out of."
|June 1968||Top Home Newsletters||January 1969|