Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sen. Tarr Tackles Housing Discrimination

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr testified before the Joint Committee on Housing this morning in support of legislation he has filed with Senator Barry Finegold to prohibit discrimination in cooperative housing.

Under current laws governing cooperative housing corporations, the boards of these corporations can turn down prospective owners who are not deemed to be “compatible with the community,” provided they do not make this decision on the basis of race, sex or age. Senate Bill 593 would tighten the law’s anti-discrimination requirements by limiting the rejection of potential co-op owners to those who fail to prove they can meet the financial and maintenance obligations associated with the property.

The fight to prohibit discrimination in housing is nothing new to Senator Tarr, who has sponsored similar legislation in both the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 legislative sessions. The initial bill was filed on behalf of a North Andover constituent, John Walsh, who was denied an opportunity to purchase a housing unit at 68 Beacon Street, near the Public Gardens and historic Boston Common (see story below).
An American Dream Denied