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Residents urge High Point city council members to rethink vote against fair housing

A lot was discussed Monday in the city council meeting but the one thing that seemed to be on a lot of community members minds was fair housing.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Residents in the city of High Point are urging city council members to rethink their vote against fair housing.

A lot was discussed Monday in the city council meeting but the one thing that seemed to be on a lot of community members minds was fair housing.

Each person who spoke during public comment Monday said how they wanted High Point to become a fair housing assistance program.

“High Point needs a fair housing ordinance to show that it supports its community” High Point community member Gayle said during public comment.

Frank Thomas echoed the same.

“This fair housing ordinance is long overdue, and it would be a shame for us to have to wait until a new city council is seated to bring it back up,” Thomas said.

City council voted against implementing an ordinance for the city of High Point to become a fair housing assistance program this past May.

The committee voted 4-0 on May 3 to send the recommendation to council for full consideration at the May 16 meeting.

The purpose of the ordinance is to provide freedom from housing discrimination for people living within the city.

The ordinance provides freedom from housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap or disability in real estate transactions, including, when it comes down to the sale, rental, or advertising of homes as well as the availability of residential real estate.

WFMY News 2’s Amber Lake spoke with city council members following Monday’s meeting about why the ordinance did not pass this past May.

Council members said there were three areas that needed to be voted on including the city of High Point to become a fair housing agency, asking council to approve a position that would be a fair housing investigator and accepting a fair housing ordinance.

“At that meeting there were votes cast on each. the vote for approving a position passed 5-4. The vote to assign staff to move forward with becoming a substantial equivalent fair housing agency through HUD (Housing Urban Development), that passed 6-3 and then the last item was to approve the fair housing ordinance because it was the first time that it was brought to council that had to have a super majority which is a 6-3 vote of the nine but it got 5-4,” Jeron Hollis, managing director for city of High Point for Communications said. “So, while it had majority vote by the rules it didn’t have the threshold of 6-3 so that piece of the puzzle fell by the wayside.”

Residents have been in contact with council members about changing their vote.

Since that vote failed in May, community members have been reaching out to council members who voted “no”, asking them to reconsider their vote and bring the discussion back to the floor.

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