SECTION 31. Section 4 of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
20. For a local or state administrative, legislative or regulatory body or instrumentality to engage in a discriminatory land use practice. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “discriminatory land use practice” shall mean: (i) enacting or enforcing any land use regulation, policy or ordinance; (ii) making a permitting or funding decision with respect to housing or proposed housing; or (iii) taking any other action the purpose or effect of which would limit or exclude: (a) housing accommodations for families or individuals with incomes at or below 80 per cent of the area median income as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; (b) housing accommodations with sufficient bedrooms for families with children; or (c) families or individuals based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, veteran status or membership in the armed forces, familial status, disability condition, blindness, hearing impairment or because a person possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness, hearing impairment or other handicap.
It shall not be a violation of this chapter if a local or state government entity whose action or inaction has an unintended discriminatory effect proves that the action or inaction was motivated and justified by a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory, bona fide governmental interest and the complaining party is unable to prove that those interests can be served by any other practice that has a less discriminatory effect; or (ii) demonstrates that it has consistently supported housing described in (iii) above and that the entity’s action or inaction was motivated and justified by a substantial, legitimate nondiscriminatory bona fide governmental interest.
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