Summary: S.2040 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2040. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/03/1986)

Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1986 - Amends specified Acts to rename them the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Act.

Amends the Fair Housing Act to make it unlawful to: (1) refuse to sell or rent a dwelling to an individual because that individual, or someone associated with that individual, is handicapped; (2) discriminate against a handicapped individual in the conditions of sale or rental, or in the provision of a related service or facility; (3) refuse to permit reasonable modifications to permit access to the premises (provided the renter agrees to restore the premises to their original condition); or (4) make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, or services to afford handicapped individuals equal use and enjoyment of a dwelling.

Makes it unlawful for anyone engaged in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate in the provision or terms of a transaction because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

States that nothing in this Act limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions on the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling unit. States that nothing in this Act regarding familial status applies to any State or Federal program aimed at assisting the elderly.

Establishes new administrative enforcement authority in addition to existing enforcement provisions.

Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to transmit an annual report to the Congress on the progress made in eliminating discriminatory housing practices.

Allows an aggrieved person to file a complaint with the Secretary alleging a discriminatory housing practice. Allows the Secretary to file such a complaint on his own initiative or investigate a housing practice to determine whether such a complaint should be brought. Requires the Secretary to attempt to correct the discriminatory practice by informal methods of conciliation. Requires the Secretary to refer matters to the Attorney General, recommending that civil actions be filed, where a respondent has failed to comply with conciliation agreements. Allows the Secretary to refer matters to the Attorney General for prompt judicial action when necessary.

Makes certain changes in the current requirements for referring charges to State or local agencies for investigation and enforcement. Specifies the elements of "substantial equivalency" which permit certification and referrals of discrimination charges.

Permits the Secretary to file an administrative complaint or refer the matter to the Attorney General for civil action if the investigation supports a finding of reasonable cause, except with respect to matters involving land use control, which must be referred.

Specifies the hearing procedures to be utilized if an administrative complaint is issued. Permits criminal penalties of up to a $100,000 fine and/or imprisonment for not more than one year for noncompliance with subpoenas or other lawful orders. Permits the administrative law judge to award appropriate relief, including punitive damages.

Permits the filing of a petition for review of a final order in an appropriate court of appeals within 30 days of service of such order.

Permits any prevailing party to be awarded reasonable attorney's fees.

Makes certain revisions in the private right of action for aggrieved persons. Extends the statute of limitations from 180 days to two years. Disallows simultaneous administrative and judicial proceedings involving the same charge. Allows the Attorney General to intervene upon certification that the civil action is of general public importance.

Continues the authority of the Attorney General to initiate civil actions where there is reasonable cause to believe that a pattern or practice of resistance to fair housing rights has occurred. Permits the Attorney General to commence a civil action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of the complaint.

Describes the types of relief which may be granted in civil actions under such Act.