The Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan has filed a discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development against Ypsilanti Township. The complaint relates to an ordinance the township passed last year banning government subsidies in a new development. That would exclude tenants with Section 8 vouchers. It is the first time a Michigan municipality has attempted to ban subsidized housing.
Pam Kisch, Director of the Fair Housing Center, says the ban violates the U.S. Fair Housing Act. "It has what's called a disparate impact on people who either have Section 8 vouchers or are on a waiting list for Section 8 vouchers."
The township has asked for more time to respond to the complaint. Kisch says that the desired outcome of the ban is, "First and foremost, the ordinance has to be repealed." She also hopes that the township will meet with representatives from the Fair Housing Center to discuss further changes to correct discriminatory housing practices.