Don’t be a Discriminator!
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives more than 10,000 complaints a year about discrimination. You would think that in the year 2010 we would not have to think about discrimination as an issue. Unfortunately, the world still is not perfect, so we must keep making a conscious effort to change.
To start the change take a look at your By-Laws, rules and regulations, or your policies. If they have not been updated in the past 10 years you may be missing out on some new rules from the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Like it or not, these two Acts supersede the governing documents to your co-operative. Every co-operative should be taking preventive measures to avoid complaints of discrimination.
Proactive measures you could take are to look around your co-operative and see how your members use certain areas for recreation. A pool or tennis court with an age or time limit could be considered age discrimination. If you find out that one of your members was in an accident and was put in a wheelchair, it would be ideal to ask your member how you could help them with their new disability. Anything that brings good public image to your co-operative and assists your members may serve the dual purpose of avoiding discrimination complaints and help with attaining new members.
When reviewing your co-operatives governing documents you should always consult your attorney. He or she will be able to advise you whether they are discriminatory. It is always best to make sure you remain current with all the new governmental rules and regulations, so that you avoid complaints against your co-operative.