Ohio Poverty Law Center Housing Task Force

About OPLC
OPLC is a statewide Legal Services organization that serves all of the direct services programs in Ohio in a multiplicity of ways such as information sharing, including these quarterly task force meetings, which is just one vehicle to share information, and  are scheduled to bring advocates from across the state together to discuss a wide range of issues relevant to advocates & the clients they serve.

About Housing Task Force
Legal Services attorneys from around Ohio together with non lawyer advocates meets quarterly in Columbus to discuss housing rights issues.  Convened and curated by Joe Maskovyak, Ohio Poverty Law Center.


About 20 legal aid lawyers and non lawyer advocates shared information and insights about Fair Housing practice on September 27, 2012 as a part of the OPLC's Housing Task Force meeting.

Discussion points
  • Can't advertise preferences, even if a property is exempt from FHA (eg.  Mrs. Murphy or HOPA)
  • There's no "mrs. murphy' exemption in Ohio FH law.
  • Discussion of when a person with a disability can ask for a reasonable accommodation.  Second bite at the apple?
  • How advocates can help medical professionals provide good documentation of a disability and a nexus.  Sample letters?  Ronnell's story about interviewing the MD in the 5 chicken's case.  Ronnell's 5 chickens case (see attached below).
  • Service animal definition in ADA does not apply to Housing cases.
  • Challenging intrusive requests for info.  CLAS fighting AMHA's form requiring an affidavit from the health care provider.  Ronnell is asking HUD for a ruling on this same case
  • The need for coordination among FH practitioners-legal service attorneys, local public officials charged with FH duities, private enforcement agencies, disability rights groups.
  • When is too late to ask for a RA in housing, especially in the context of a termination?  There's no rule except that the request needs to be 'reasonable.'
  • Interactive process for engaging the landlord to obtain a meaningful response.  Interactive process is a concept from employment law that's being incorporated into fair housing laws.  Basic principle is that 'no' is not an answer.  If a housing provider cannot make a reasonable accommodation or modification, the provider is expected to offer an alternative which addresses the barriers identified by the housing consumer.

Notes & Links

Spencer Wells,
Sep 28, 2012, 1:46 AM