The authority and responsibility for administering this article shall be in the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.
The commission may delegate any of its functions, duties and powers to employees of the Human Rights Commission, including functions, duties and powers with respect to investigating, conciliating, hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting or otherwise acting as to any work, business or matter under this article. The person to whom such delegations are made with respect to hearing functions, duties and powers shall be a licensed attorney. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the county where the discriminatory housing practices allegedly occurred. The commission shall by rule prescribe such rights of appeal from the decisions of its administrative law judges to other administrative law judges or to other officers in the commission, to boards of officers or to itself, as shall be appropriate and in accordance with law.
All executive departments and agencies shall administer their programs and activities relating to housing, including any agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions, in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of this article and shall cooperate with the commission to further such purposes.
The commission may:
(1) Make studies with respect to the nature and extent of discriminatory housing practices in representative communities, urban, suburban and rural, throughout the state;
(2) Publish and disseminate reports, recommendations and information derived from such studies, including reports to the Legislature specifying the nature and extent of progress made statewide in eliminating discriminatory housing practices and furthering the purposes of this article, obstacles remaining to achieving equal housing opportunity and recommendations for further legislative or executive action;
(3) Cooperate with and execute such cooperative agreements with federal agencies as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article; and
(4) Administer the programs and activities relating to fair housing in a manner affirmatively to further the policies of this article.