SB 428 - This act modifies provisions regarding discrimination against homeless people and creates a Homeless Bill of Rights.
Current law makes it an unlawful housing practice to discriminate against certain persons with regard to selling or renting housing as well as making it unlawful for certain financial institutions making commercial real estate loans to deny such loans to persons with certain characteristics. This acts applies these current prohibitions to persons based on housing status. "Housing status" is defined in the act as the status of not having a fixed, regular and adequate residence, including the status of living in places not meant for human habitation, such as the streets, cars, parks and other places described in the act.
For certain crimes where the state believes the crime was motivated by a certain characteristic of the victim, current law provides that the crime may be charged as a hate crime with enhanced penalties. This act adds housing status of the victim as a characteristic that would designate the crime as a hate crime with enhanced penalties.
This act creates the Homeless Bill of Rights. No person's rights, privileges or access to public services may be denied because the person is homeless. A person experiencing homelessness has certain rights delineated in the act regarding freedom of movement, the right to equal treatment, the right to not face discrimination while seeking a job or emergency health care, the right to vote, and the right to reasonable expectations of privacy. In any civil action to enforce these rights, a prevailing plaintiff may be awarded appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief, actual damages and reasonable attorneys fees.