COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, announces language on an anticipated, bipartisan bill that pushes for equal housing opportunities was included within the recently-approved budget package. Ghanbari led on this initiative, alongside Dontavius Jarrells, D-Columbus, to ensure the provisions were added in the budget plan under House Bill 110.
The language within the budget bill creates equal housing opportunities by creating a process that makes it easier in removing discriminatory covenants from deeds of property transfers. Additionally, it provides immunity from civil liability for attorneys who remove a discriminatory covenant from a deed that they are preparing.
“I’m very pleased to see this outdated practice that hinders individuals of certain races coming to an end,” Ghanbari said. “Situations have occurred where discriminatory covenants in deeds on property transfers have been limiting for people based on race and other statuses – this is unacceptable and I’m glad that we got this included within the budget bill.”
Scott Williams, CEO of Ohio Realtors, applauds the lawmakers for the inclusion of the fair housing provision.
“Ohio Realtors appreciates the work of Representatives Ghanbari and Jarrells to amend Ohio law to allow for a simplified process to remove discriminatory covenants from property deeds,” Williams said. “We enjoyed working with Reps. Ghanbari and Jarrells on this common sense approach to continue the fight for fair housing in Ohio and to also protect private property rights by removing illegal and hateful language from property deeds. We look forward to our ongoing work to help all Ohioans realize the American Dream.”
Ghanbari notes the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1948 such provisions are void, they remain in many deeds unknown to the owners of the properties. The representative claims while it has become practice for attorneys to remove these void provisions, unfortunately, some leave them be due to fear of civil liability.
The goal of the provisions is to eliminate discriminatory covenants in Ohio by:
• Declaring discriminatory covenants void by statute;
• Providing immunity from civil liability to attorneys who remove discriminatory covenants from deeds that they are preparing for the transfer of a property; and
• Prohibiting county recorders from refusing to record a deed pursuant to division (B) of section 317.13 of the Revised Code due to such omission.
“I appreciate Representative Jarrells for joining me on this very important bipartisan piece of legislation and to the Ohio Realtors for their assistance,” Ghanbari added. “I’d also like to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate on their leadership with getting this language included. The result of this addition to House Bill 110 is more equal housing opportunities and a more positive, lasting impact on this front for all Ohioans.”
The budget bill that included the equal housing language was signed into law last week by the governor.