Philadelphia protecting domestic violence victims from housing discrimination

Victims of domestic violence would get more flexibility when it comes to housing under legislation advancing in Philadelphia City Council.  

The bill would prevent a landlord from terminating a lease of a domestic violence or sexual assault victim and give victims the right to break their lease without penalty.  After being beaten by her husband, Vernetta Burger says her landlord victimized her a second time.

“The landlord held me responsible for all future rents and the damage caused by my husband,” said Burger.  “Not only was I responsible of the broken door that was off the hinges the broken window but the clean up of the blood on the walls from me holding my face trying to get away from him.”

Nicole Bounds says the changes could be very important for her and other victims of abuse.

“Having the option of terminating or getting the significant other’s name off the lease would help the victim free herself and remove one additional level from entanglement with the perpetrator,” said Bounds.

No one testified against the legislation.

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