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News ::
Racist Landlords, what to do... (english)
14 May 2003
Modified: 10:55:12 AM
I've had recent experiences with racist landlords and I've gotten some good advice that I want to pass on to others.
Here's the story of the most recent incident:

If there is any alternative to using the state, I would do it, but in this case using state offices created for this purpose (after long civil rights struggle of course) it seems to be the best thing to do. Watch out racist landlords of Boston!

Here is some info I have gotten:

Call the MCAD immediately. That's the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. That's what they do.

You don't need a lawyer but there is a time limit.
Boston number: 617-994-6000

And some other legal info:

Massachusetts law which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, military background or service, sex, sexual preference, marital status, blindness, deafness or the need of a guide dog, except in owner-occupied two family dwellings. (M. G. L. c. 151B 4) No landlord can refuse to rent you an apartment because you receive a rental subsidy, because the apartment contains lead, or, with some exceptions, because you have children.

here are a couple of other links that may help:

-MA Tenant / Landlord Information

-MA Dept. of Housing and Community Development
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MCAD not so great (english)
14 May 2003
I called MCAD and the person I talked with didn't really seem to care too much at all.

I asked, What can I do?

- Well you could file a complaint.

What might happen then?

- Well the first step is to serve the complaint, after which the landlord will have 21 days to respond.

What could happen then? What effects will it have?

- Well these things sometimes get settled.

I told him, Of course after receiving a letter from the MCAD office, the landlord would probably be coerced into allowing us to have this roommate, but that isn't really causing him any damage or penalty for having that policy in the first place, is it? I want to see some penalty levied, some deterrant for future harmful and racist actions like this.

But anyway, I asked, how do I file a complaint?

- Well, you could come in.

What are your hours?

- 8:45 to 5:00. Or 8:45 to 3:30 to file a complaint.

[ They make it really easy for working people, don't they? Come into their office in the government building during typical workday hours, lose your work time, file a complaint that may or may not have an effect. ]

[ And what if the landlord decides he doesn't want to rent to us after all and gives us eviction notice after filing the complaint? And what if 21 days is too long a time period? Why does he get 21 days? ]

Just some snippets from the real world.