East Lansing, MI –
UPDATE: The city of East Lansing is re-scheduling tonight's fair housing workshop. Workshops are now scheduled for February 24th and March 1st at the East Lansing Public Library.
East Lansing officials are gathering public input on potential barriers to fair housing. The city is hosting two workshops on the subject this week.
Like all federal entitlement communities, East Lansing is required to meet fair housing practices. As part of that effort, the city will solicit public comments today and Wednesday. Housing advocates say complaints in East Lansing most often arise from a failure to accommodate persons with disabilities.
But attorney Elan Stavros-Nichols with the MSU Rental Housing Clinic believes declining property values may also tempt landlords to act outside the law.
"If they can't afford to maintain the property, they don't have the money to properly handle their housing and might be more prone to discrimination in that way," says Stavros-Nichols.
Tonight's workshop is geared towards the general public. A second forum will take place Wednesday for property managers, developers and others who administer the housing industry.