Editorial: New housing law is discriminatory

by Daily Editorial Board

Disabled people face multiple types of discrimination throughout their lives.

In November, a bill was passed that allowed the cities of West and South St. Paul to prohibit those who use government assistance for physical and mental disabilities from being able to move into new houses in the community. Many of the houses in the area are not well suited for the needs for disabled people, and those that are attempting to live in the city will only be able to if another tenant using the same services moves out.

While there is some debate as to whether the ordinance is discriminatory against disabled people specifically, it is creating a barrier for those who may have physical and mental limitations.

The point of the bill was to save on the expenses of alterations that need to be made to certain houses and units. City officials are blaming the shortage of housing on economic issues rather than ones relating to prejudice.

Integration of disabled people into the community is vital to create an inclusive space. Specifically, community action is necessary in this situation. This could be in the form of government protest, or it could happen through neighbors helping one another to add more options within the city.

Creating better options for transportation and accessible spaces that specifically cater to the disabled would allow them to have a space within the South and West St. Paul community. Housing could also be improved by creating forms of funding to accommodate disabilities in homes.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the city the ordinance was passed in.