The Janesville League of Women Voters firmly believes that Fair Housing is an issue that should be addressed by city government. While there are State and Federal laws which protect a diversity of groups, it is important that local government also provide protection for the same groups to insure equitable treatment in the housing market.
A local ordinance should include provision for the following elements: testing, investigation of complaints, injunctive relief, conciliation or arbitration, fines, affirmative action requirements, and imposition of actual and punitive damages.
In the interest of fairness there should be a process by which appeals of administrative decisions can be made, recognizing that the courts have their own appeal procedure. The city should be party to any settlement reached n order to represent the public interest in assuring continued fair housing in Janesville.
The League of Women Voters believes that public education is a critical element in promoting Fair Housing. The City should, therefore, be involved in a significant way in community outreach that includes seminars, newspaper articles and radio/TV public messages.
In addition, there is a significant role for private fair housing groups in augmenting the public effort in areas including testing, education, legal assistance, and advocacy.