HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Several High Point residents are working to make sure you’re protected at the local level from housing discrimination.

A group is calling on the city council to enact a fair housing ordinance.

This isn’t the first time it’s been discussed in High Point. The first attempt at this ordinance in May didn’t pass. It needed a 6-3 vote and only got a 5-4 vote.

Since then, community members have shown up to each monthly meeting and asked city leaders to take another look at what they claim is a much-needed service.

“To make sure the least, the lost, the left out are being represented,” said Frank Thomas, who attended Monday night’s city council meeting.

Thomas said that’s what the City of High Point can accomplish by rethinking its vote against a fair housing ordinance.

“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.

The ordinance provides freedom from housing discrimination based on race, religion, disability and more.
Several people spoke at Monday night’s meeting, voicing their concerns about who might come to the city if this action isn’t taken.

“You will attract the predators and the capitalists and the slum lords who look for an out,” Shonda Sutton said.

Others showed up to advocate for people with disabilities.

“When it comes to housing, it becomes a right and not just a privilege,” Mark Springfield said. “When it comes down to a matter, it’s D.E.I.: diversity, equity and inclusion.”

In North Carolina, fair housing laws are enforced at the state level. This ordinance would allow High Point to set up its own program like several cities across our state already have.

“We are the only city of this size in the state that does not have one,” said Joe Blankenship, who spoke at Monday’s meeting. “The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Durham, Greensboro, Orange County and Winston-Salem.”

Community members even cited the city’s motto as a reason council members should reconsider: “Creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America.”

“Creating the most livable,” Thomas said. “I’ll stop right there. The most livable community in America. This fair housing ordinance is long overdue.”

FOX8 reached out to the City of High Point for comment.

A spokesperson said council members have not decided yet if and when they’ll bring this issue back up. But he said this ordinance has broad community and council support.