TITLE 34
Property

CHAPTER 34-37
Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act

SECTION 34-37-3


§ 34-37-3 Definitions.

When used in this chapter:

(1) "Age" means anyone over the age of eighteen (18).

(2) "Armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, or Air Force of the United States and the Rhode Island National Guard.

(3) "Commission" means the Rhode Island commission for human rights created by § 28-5-8.

(4) "Disability" means a disability as defined in § 42-87-1.

Provided, further, that the term "disability" does not include current, illegal use of, or addiction to, a controlled substance, as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802.

(5) "Discriminate" includes segregate, separate, or otherwise differentiate between or among individuals because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status as a veteran with an honorable discharge or an honorable or general administrative discharge, servicemember in the armed forces, country of ancestral origin, disability, age, housing status, or familial status or because of the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status as a veteran with an honorable discharge or an honorable or general administrative discharge, servicemember in the armed forces, country of ancestral origin, disability, age, housing status, or familial status of any person with whom they are, or may wish to be, associated.

(6) The term "domestic abuse" for the purposes of this chapter shall have the same meaning as that set forth in § 15-15-1 and include all forms of domestic violence as set forth in § 12-29-2, except that the domestic abuse need not involve a minor or parties with minor children.

(7)(i) "Familial status" means one or more individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen (18) years being domiciled with:

(A) A parent or another person having legal custody of the individual or individuals; or

(B) The designee of the parent or other person having the custody, with the written permission of the parent or other person, provided that, if the individual is not a relative or legal dependent of the designee, that the individual shall have been domiciled with the designee for at least six (6) months.

(ii) The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of eighteen (18) years.

(8) The terms, as used regarding persons with disabilities, "auxiliary aids and services", "reasonable accommodation", and "reasonable modifications" have the same meaning as those terms are defined in § 42-87-1.1.

(9) The term "gender identity or expression" includes a person's actual or perceived gender, as well as a person's gender identity, gender-related self image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression; whether or not that gender identity, gender-related self image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth.

(10) "Housing accommodation" includes any building or structure, or portion of any building or structure, or any parcel of land, developed or undeveloped, that is occupied or is intended, designed, or arranged to be occupied, or to be developed for occupancy, as the home or residence of one or more persons.

(11) "Otherwise qualified" includes any person with a disability who, with respect to the rental of property, personally or with assistance arranged by the person with a disability, is capable of performing all the responsibilities of a tenant as contained in § 34-18-24.

(12) "Owner" includes any person having the right to sell, rent, lease, or manage a housing accommodation.

(13) "Person" includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, labor organizations, mutual companies, joint stock companies, trusts, receivers, legal representatives, trustees, other fiduciaries, or real estate brokers or real estate salespersons as defined in chapter 20.5 of title 5.

(14) "Senior citizen" means a person sixty-two (62) years of age or older.

(15) The term "sexual orientation" means having, or being perceived as having, an orientation for heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality. This definition is intended to describe the status of persons and does not render lawful any conduct prohibited by the criminal laws of this state nor impose any duty on a religious organization. This definition does not confer legislative approval of said status, but is intended to ensure the basic human rights of persons to hold and convey property and to give and obtain credit, regardless of such status.

(16) The term "victim" means a family or household member and all other persons contained within the definition of those terms as defined in § 12-29-2.

(17) The term "housing status" means the status of having or not having a fixed or regular residence, including the status of living on the streets or in a homeless shelter or similar temporary residence.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1965, ch. 27, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 58, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 160, § 2; P.L. 1970, ch. 25, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 214, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 144, §§ 3, 4; P.L. 1985, ch. 415, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 455, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 398, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 32, § 2; P.L. 1997, ch. 150, § 8; P.L. 2000, ch. 499, § 3; P.L. 2000, ch. 507, § 3; P.L. 2001, ch. 340, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 118, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 224, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 96, § 4; P.L. 2009, ch. 97, § 4; P.L. 2011, ch. 363, § 18; P.L. 2012, ch. 316, § 2; P.L. 2012, ch. 356, § 2; P.L. 2015, ch. 161, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 180, § 1.)