Michigan Department of Civil Rights investigates 'no foreigners' sign in sale of home

Mason residence for sale by Iraq war veteran

MASON – The Michigan Office of Civil Rights reported Thursday that it has opened a grievance in opposition to the Mason man who has a “no foreigners” indicator on his front lawn upcoming to a single reading “for sale by owner.” 

The 5-word message — “Terms-No Foreigners-Iraq vet” — violates point out and federal guidelines in opposition to discrimination dependent on national origin, a release from the office reported.

“When an ad like this goes unchallenged, it sends a concept to the local community that these types of adverts are legal and recognized,” reported Civil Rights Director Agustin V. Arbulu.

Arbulu reported it could wrongly inspire others to use identical language.

“The perception that a local community accepts discrimination of this kind discourages possible purchasers from contemplating other attributes in the area,” he reported.

Homeowner James Prater referred inquiries to an legal professional, Kristina Lyke of East Lansing, who was not right away offered for comment.

Prater reported in an before interview that he hasn’t discriminated in opposition to everyone as he is had no gives. He’s a previous Military sergeant who did two tours in Iraq in 2007 and 2008. 

Related: Putnam: ‘No foreigners’ indicator in sale of Mason household violates honest housing guidelines, point out suggests

The indicator was 1st described in the Lansing Point out Journal on Aug. four after East Lansing Realtor Nancy Knupfer spotted the indicator.

Many viewers pointed to exemptions in the federal Good Housing Act for personal product sales of property by persons. In this scenario, Prater does not have a true estate agent and is marketing the household himself.

But point out officers reported that while there are exemptions for the sale of the property by personal persons in the anti-discrimination law, discriminatory advertising is not exempted under any situation. Moreover the federal law, the point out Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination dependent on national origin.

Deputy Director Carol Viventi reported in an email that solutions vary but may well include things like “training and/or monetary penalties.”

Vicki Levengood, spokeswoman for the office, reported in an email that the office initiated the grievance and also submitted it with the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Advancement. The point out has an agreement with HUD to examine some housing discrimination problems. 

Judy Putnam is a columnist with the Lansing Point out Journal. Contact her at (517) 267-1304 or at jputnam@lsj.com.

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Authored by Sophie Ryan

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