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建筑规范的“民权”:《美国法律百科》“公平住房法案”词条译介和狗尾续貂之言

2016年07月08日23:11 东方法眼庞克道 评论字号:T|T

核心提示:在美国,不论种族,年龄,信仰和是否残疾,对房产的拥有成为了美国生活的基石,被视为一件理所当然的事情。高调且反歧视的《公平房屋法案》因此能被经常能吸引人们的关注。

  《公平住房法案》

  《公平住房法案》禁止住房歧视,因为受害人总是受法律所要保护的七个阶层中的成员。作为对民权运动的回应,国会在1968年通过了该项法案,它的保护范围扩展至1974年和1988年宪法修正案中所涉阶层。

  Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination that occurs because the victim is a member of one of seven protected classes. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed by Congress in 1968 in response to the Civil Rights movement, and its coverage was broadened to protect additional classes by amendments passed in both 1974 and 1988.

  现时受联邦法律保护的七个阶层分别是种族、肤色、国籍、性别、宗教信仰、家庭出身和残疾。甚至一些州和市政府拥有更广泛公平房屋法令,禁止以诸如性取向和收入来源为准的阶层歧视。该法案不仅涵盖房屋租售,甚至还包括借用、保险和广告。除了禁止有意歧视行为,《公平住房法案》还禁止貌似中立实则对受法律保护阶层会产生差别性影响的行为。因此,该法案禁止例如“唯有白人”这样的广告叙述之外,也禁止只使用白人模特的住房广告活动,因为类似于此的广告可能会在少数族群中造成他们并非是受欢迎顾客某种心理感受。

  The seven classes currently protected under the federal act are race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, and disability. Moreover, some states and municipalities have broader fair housing acts that prohibit discrimination based on additional classes such as sexual orientation and source of income. Not only are rental and sales housing transactions covered by the act, but also lending, insurance, and advertising. In addition to prohibiting intentional acts of discrimination, the FHA also prohibits seemingly neutral actions which have a disparate impact on one of the protected classes. So, for example, along with prohibiting an ad that states “whites only,” the act also prohibits ad campaigns for housing which use only white models because such ads are likely to create the feeling among minorities that they are not welcome as customers.

  一些有关住房歧视的典型情形主要有:

  1、因为申请者的种族原因,提供错误的可用住房信息;

  2、基于申请者的性别,更改租赁条件和条款;

  3、引导少数民族家庭迁移物业到城镇少数民族居住区;

  4、由于少数民族高度聚居的原因,拒绝在特定地域出售业主保险;

  5、通过制造某些受保护阶层可能要迁居包围四周的恐惧,说服业主出售他们的物业;

  6、滋扰和恐吓受保护阶层成员。

  Some classic examples of housing discrimination include:

  1. Providing false information about the availability of housing due to the applicant’s race, 2. Changing rental terms and conditions depending on an applicant’s sex, 3. Steering a minority family to properties located in a minority section of town, 4. Refusing to sell homeowner’s insurance in certain areas due to high concentrations of minorities, 5. Convincing homeowners to sell their dwellings by creating a fear that members of a protected class will be moving in all around them, and 6. Harassing and intimidating members of the protected classes.

  除了上述对受保护阶层成员可能造成影响的住房歧视情形之外,还有一些其他的只可能针对残障人士的歧视情形。事实上,残障人士进入住所或使用如洗澡间等住所内实施的困难更为常见。为了克服这种可接近性问题,《公平住房法案》要求,建筑物单元要有四个或四个以上的居住单元,要装备电梯,1991年3月13日之后的建筑应当便于残障人士接触使用。该法案要求即便没有电梯的有四个或四个以上居住单元的一楼也有便于使用。

  In addition to the above types of housing discrimination, which can affect members of any protected class, there are other types of discriminatory conduct that only affect persons with disabilities. In fact, it is often difficult for a disabled person to even enter a dwelling or to use a dwelling’s essential portions, such as a bathroom. In order to combat such accessibility problems,the Fair Housing Act requires that apartment buildings that contain four or more units and an elevator and were built after March 13, 1991, be accessible to persons with disabilities. The act also requires that ground floor units in buildings with four or more units without elevators be accessible.

  除了为新多元化家庭的可接近性确立要求之外,《公平住房法案》也要求为残障人士提供合理的法定住所和服务。所以,如果某人残疾且需要导航犬,一般来说,即便综合体楼宇没有允许养宠物的章则,房东也必须让该导航犬可以进出。最后,《公平住房法案》要求所有住房提供者,应当允许残疾人租房客自担费用对住所进行合理的结构改造,例如在浴室内安装扶手。

  Along with establishing accessibility requirements for new multifamily housing, the Fair Housing Act also requires that reasonable accommodations in rules and services be granted to disabled individuals. So, if someone is disabled and needs a service dog, a landlord generally must allow the dog even if the complex has a “no pet” rule. Finally, the FHA requires all housing providers to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable structural modifications at their own expense, such as installing grab bars in a bathroom.

  相较于《公平住房法案》和其他民权法律出台前,现今的住房歧视更为微妙,它常常并非显而易见。与此相应,为了调查住房歧视现象,许多公平房屋权益组织就利用自愿者做测试员。测试员可能被用来进行可控性试验,这些试验中唯一的典型变量就是受法律保护的某些阶层。于是,例如一个白人实验者和一个黑人实验者在同一午后时间拜访同一综合体楼宇,黑人实验者一无所获,而白人实验者却被告知有三间空房。在避风港房地产公司诉科尔曼案(1982)中,联邦最高法院裁决,即便实验者实际无意购买或租赁住房,可能事实上希图接受错误信息,他们也有获得真实信息权。联邦最高法院也认为,住房提供者的歧视行为对实验者和公平房屋维权组织两者都可能造成伤害。

  Because housing discrimination is more subtle today than it was before the passage of the FHA and other civil rights laws, it is often not obvious when discrimination is occurring. Accordingly, many fair housing organizations use volunteer testers in order to investigate housing discrimination. Testers can be used in controlled experiments in which the only significant variable is one of the protected classes. So, for example, if a white tester and a black tester visit the same complex on the same afternoon and the black tester is told nothing is available while the white tester is told there are three vacancies, housing discrimination may be occurring. In Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman (1982) the Supreme Court ruled that testers have a right to truthful information even though the testers have no actual intention of buying or renting a home and may, in fact, expect to receive false information. The Court also held that both testers and fair housing organizations can be harmed by a housing provider’s discriminatory conduct.

  联邦负责执行《公平住房法案》的机构是美国住房和城市发展部。那些认为自己公平房屋权已经受到侵害的个人,可以向美国住房和城市发展部、对应的州或地方的相应机构或当地法院进行投诉。

  The federal agency responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Individuals who believe their fair housing rights have been violated can file a claim with HUD, an equivalent state or local agency, or in federal or state court.

  更多信息可以访问美国住房和城市发展部官网和国家公平房屋倡导在线:http://www.fairhousing.com

  http://www.fairhousing.com

  狗尾续貂之言:建筑规范的“民权”

  2015年7月11日,美国总统奥巴马的每周电视演讲主题是《以公平住房法增强社区》。简单推论,不难看出安居乐业事关国计民生,无论美国还是中国事理皆然。在演讲中,奥巴马告诉人们说,大约50年前,国会的共和党人和民主党人共同合作,通过了《公平住房法》。有了这部法律,房主就不能仅仅因为种族、信仰、性别、原国籍或身体残疾为由拒绝租客,为这个国家带来了巨大的变化。但是,他也检讨说,《公平住房法》的任务并没有全部完成。比如,在一些城市,在不同社区生活的孩子最后的命运完全不同。他们在不同的学校上学,在不同的公园玩耍,在不同的商店购物,在不同的街道上走过。这些完全不同等级的居住质量和安全性,意味着这些孩子的人生机会是各不相同的。他接着指出说,这与他们作为美国人所信奉的理想是背道而驰的。虽然说无人能保证大家有公平的结果,但正义的社会却应当要努力保证大家有公平的机会,对每个社区,每个人都一样。按照《公平住房法》的规定,这不仅仅是房主的责任,也是政府的责任。因此,奥巴马政府宣布了一项新政策,让社会各界更好利用该法。通过对住房和社区环境数据的分析,帮助各个城市找到最需要扶持的区域。进一步帮助社区实现发展目标。此外,通过对大众开放这一数据,除了社区官员以外,社区的每个人,都可以参与进来。比如,居民希望在自家附近增设公交站点,或者在附近增加价格合理的房源,就可以使用这些数据,来达成自己的愿望。

  美国最高法院对《公平住房法案》模范执行的优良历史也有多年,至少可以追溯到许多人耳熟能详的1954年布朗诉托皮卡教育委员会案。就在奥巴马这个主题演讲的几周前,最高法院还又通过判案,重申了“将少数族裔隔离在贫困社区的政策,即便不是有意的,也是违反该法的”鲜明立场。

  根据乂联工程咨询微信公众号文章介绍,纽约律师称,对该法案的遵守已经成了设计多层和拥有4个以上单元的住宅的建筑师和工程师的基本常识。“就像使用水泥一样,事情本就应该这样”。因为任何建筑师和工程师,包括开发商和业主不遵从这些要求的成本是非常高的。例如,2016年5月早些时候,曼哈顿联邦检察官Bharara就与开发商Glenwood Management 就Glenwood违法该法案规定达成了协议。检察官称Glenwood设计并建造了不少于3座违反法案的建筑。Glenwood将支付90万美元的赔偿金和5万美元的民权罚款,5万美元的民权罚款源于检察官所称的“不能使用的特性”,如阀门和邮箱的位置使坐在轮椅里的人够不到。

  因此,称《公平住房法案》为建筑规范的“民权”之器丝毫不为过。

  冷眼向洋,心系中国。翻译这个条目,总是会情不自禁地想到当下中国。杜老夫子的名言,安得广厦千万间,大庇天下寒士俱欢颜,总是不断地戳痛当下城市中低收入阶层人们的心。民国也罢,共和国也好,无论计划经济,还是市场经济,千百年来,人民群众安居乐业的朴素心愿从未改变。然而,当下过度开发的商品房,城市高企的房价,开工不力的保障房,浮沉的楼市,让人们感受得最为真切的,还是一个“利”字。无处不在的是地方利益、部门利益、商家利益,乱哄哄你方唱罢我登场,唯独最需要体现的普通群众利益却时常退场。不管是“国×条”还是“新国×条”,对于许多人来说,他们更深层次的期待,并不是作为经济手段的调控政策指引房价或高或低,而是以法律之名突破利益重围,真正保障居者有其屋的权利。

  另一方面,再想一想日益撕裂社会的贫富两极分化和社会人口的逐渐老龄化。比如,根据2016年6月24日《京华时报》的消息称,中国人300亿美元海外买房,多国民众“喊打”。我们不能不追问中国的住房公平法在哪里?

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