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Ghanbari to Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Pushing for Equal Housing Opportunities

June 8, 2021
Haraz N. Ghanbari News

State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) will soon be introducing bipartisan legislation that aims to push for equal housing opportunities by removing discriminatory covenants from deeds of property transfer. The bill provides immunity from civil liability for attorneys who remove a discriminatory covenant from a deed that they are preparing.

“We understand that issues have come up where discriminatory restrictive covenants in deeds are provisions that aim to limit the transfer of property to individuals based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, or familial status,” said Ghanbari. “Though the Supreme Court of United States ruled in 1948 that such provisions are void, they remain in many deeds unknown to the owners of the properties.”

Ghanbari notes that it has become practice for attorneys to remove these void provisions, however, some leave them be due to fear of civil liability. 

The goal is to eliminate discriminatory covenants in Ohio, the legislation seeks to achieve this by:

  • Declaring discriminatory covenants void by statute;
  • Providing immunity from civil liability to attorneys who remove discriminatory covenants from deeds that they are preparing for the transfer of a property; and
  • Prohibiting county recorders from refusing to record a deed pursuant to division (B) of section 317.13 of the Revised Code due to such omission.

“This is an outdated practice that hurts Ohioans of certain races,” said Ghanbari. “This is something that has to end and that’s why we’re taking the steps to removing the viability of discriminatory covenants throughout the state and right here in Wood County. I appreciate Representative Jarrells joining me on this very important bipartisan piece of legislation. I look forward to working closely with the Representative on this legislation that will make a positive and lasting impact for many Ohioans.”

The bill awaits its official introduction and first committee hearing.