A Dallas city council committee agreed to update the city’s Fair Housing ordinance on Monday, so that housing protections would be extended to people based upon their sexual orientation and their gender identity.
The city already has a separate ordinance in place meant to ensure that people are not discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation or their gender identity, but this specific update would bring the Fair Housing Ordinance into alignment with new federal policy. President Joe Biden issued an executive order in January designed to extend these same protections, so the update in Dallas would be a corresponding move, according to the city’s Fair Housing Administrator.
Barksdale Haggins, Fair Housing Administrator in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, told the council committee that his office receives a handful of sex-based discrimination complaints every year.
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“A lot of times people don’t think that sex discrimination still happens in housing situations,” Haggins said. “We have had some horrendous cases, complaints coming into our office. Basically, some quid pro quo cases where young ladies are being asked for sexual favors to maintain and keep their housing, so these issues, these incidents they still occur.”
Haggins said discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity is of equal concern and emphasized that this update to the city’s Fair Housing Ordinance will provide better protections to its citizens.