BRICK TOWNSHIP — An ordinance that would require a criminal background check on new renters was tabled after concerns about discrimination were raised.
At the June 12 township council meeting, landlords that own properties in the township, as well as two members of the New Jersey National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], spoke at a public hearing on the ordinance, claiming the proposal is unfair to landlords as well as would open up the renting process to discrimination.
“The only problem I have [with the ordinance] is that it could be discriminatory,” said Frederick Rush, head of the Ocean County Chapter of the NJ NAACP, at the meeting.
“It will become discriminatory because that is what happens in America. It’s the haves and the have-nots. The people who are disenfranchised, they are going to be the ones that are affected the most.”
“I know you have the right and you want to keep this an all-American city, but sometimes I wonder what that means,” Mr. Rush said.
“An all-American city could mean you want to keep out undesirables, whatever that means, and you could put that in the context of a whole lot of things.”
Michael McNeil, chair of the NJ NAACP’s housing committee, also spoke about the risk of the ordinance encouraging landlords to discriminate against tenants if passed.
For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.