Saturday, March 10, 2007

When is discrimination not discrimination?

When it's discrimination against those not discriminated against.

Or not.

Maybe discrimination is always discrimination. That's what the founders of this apartment complex for designed for deaf seniors discovered.

Dreams of deaf-housing blocked by regulations
By Angela Woodall, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2007 02:49:29 AM PST

FREMONT — Delores Gaston, who has been deaf since birth, came to Fremont for one reason: the first affordable housing in Northern California designed especially to meet the social and physical needs of low-income deaf senior citizens.
The problem is that what was supposed to be an all-deaf community isn't. In an interesting twist on anti-discrimination policies, fair-housing laws require that housing such as Oak Gardens be open to all seniors.
[T]wo years later, the complex is filled mostly with hearing seniors — an unintended consequence of fair-housing laws ... Today, there are 22 deaf or hard-of-hearing and 28 hearing seniors living at Oak Gardens. No deaf seniors occupy the lowest-rent units.

Link to full story.

To be fair, what happened is that when the complex opened, deaf people did not apply for all the available apartments. However, anti-discrimination laws meant that those apartments couldn't be reserved for future deaf tenants; so now, the complex is full, and a deaf senior who needs low-income housing will have to wait for a space (possibly occupied by a non-deaf senior) to become available.

What a complex world we've built as we go about trying to do the right thing!


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Blogger Kidsis said...

Well, crap. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

4:43 p.m.  

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