City Commission Approves Updates to Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances

On September 8, 2020, the City Commission approved updates to Chapters 18 and 18A of the Kalamazoo Code of Ordinances. The updates expand housing protections to include educational affiliation, source of income, status as a victim of domestic violence, personal identification method, and prior arrests or conviction record. The changes also protect renters against predatory application fees and strengthens enforcement for gender identity and sexual orientation. To enforce new and existing provisions in Chapter 18, the ordinance has created a Civil Rights Board. The Board will review allegations and violations of the ordinance. Another role of the Board is to make recommendations to the City on how practices or polices that lead to discrimination can be changed. The updated ordinances are included in the City's Code of Ordinances and can be found at the following links: 

Chapter 18

Chapter 18A

Additional information on the ordinances changes and other background information is provided below. 



Background

In February 2020, the City Commission reviewed a proposal to update Chapter 18 of the City Code of Ordinances. This chapter addresses community relations and discrimination. The proposal strengthened protections for Kalamazoo residents related to housing. It was developed in collaboration with community partners including Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community (ISAAC), and Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo. This proposal was the first significant change to address housing issues in Kalamazoo since gender identity and sexual orientation were added as local protections in 2009.

Draft documents and informational materials from the development and community engagement process are linked below for reference. Please use the links above to view the current, enacted ordinances. 

pdf August 10, 2020 Town Hall Q&A Summary (190 KB)

pdf Chapter 18 City Commission Presentation, August 17, 2020 (1.01 MB)

In March a presentation was recorded on the proposed updates to Chapter 18. You can watch the presentation below. 

A more recent update was provided to the City Commission at its meeting held on July 20, 2020: 

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