Is Mission Viejo mayor Frank Ury promoting discrimination in our affordable housing?


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At tonight’s meeting of the Mission Viejo city council mayor Frank Ury was discussing a recent meeting on affordable housing and the need to focus on this state mandated requirement. In his closing remarks, which I shall paraphrase, he said we need to not only satisfy the state but should also get something for the city in this housing compliance citing his preference for special consideration for our “first responders” such as police, fire, and those engaged in the field of nursing. He referenced a discussion with his Planning Commissioner Peter Bastone, CEO of Mission Hospital, who stated a large percentage of their hospital workers do not live in our city as they simply cannot afford the high cost of homes.

After the meeting I spoke to our city attorney and suggested he advise the mayor of the word “discrimination.” Having paid our city attorney’s office around $500,000 for their services over the past six months, hundreds of thousands paid to affordable housing legal advocates such as the Public Law Center, I surely wish to avoid any additional litigation costs and the black cloud that potential discrimination actions would do to our new image. As you read the following legal text from the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity text from HUD, pay attention to (4) which might be one area of concern.

100.60 Reads: Unlawful refusal to sell or rent or to negotiate for the sale or rental.

(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to refuse to sell or rent a dwelling to a person who has made a bona fide offer, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or natural origin, or to discriminate against any person in the sale or rental of a dwelling because of a handicap.

(b) Prohibited actions under this section include but are not limited to:

(1) Failing to accept or consider a bona fide offer because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(2) Refusing to sell or rent a dwelling to, or to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling with, any person because of race, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(3) Imposing different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling upon any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(4) Using different qualifications criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analysis or sale of rental approval procedures or other requirements, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(5) Evicting tenants because of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or because of the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of a tenant’s guest.

The bottom line. Perhaps I am mistaken but I doubt that the compensation of OCSD deputies would qualify for affordable housing.


About Larry Gilbert