What is Covered by the Fair Housing Act - Advertising
Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604(c), as amended, makes it unlawful to advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
This provision includes all advertising media, advertising agencies and all other persons who use advertising to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published, advertisements with respect to the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings which are in compliance with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
Among these provisions are:
Use of words, phrases, symbols, and visual aids including
Selective use of advertising media or content - for example, the use of English language media alone or the exclusive use of media catering to the majority population in an area, when, in such area, there are also available non-English language or other minority media, may have discriminatory impact.
Use of human models in photographs, drawings, or other graphic techniques may not be used to indicate exclusiveness because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Models, if used, should portray persons in an equal social setting and indicate to the general public that the housing is open to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, and is not for the exclusive use of one such group.
A complete copy of the requirements for advertising can be found at the HUD website.
Words descriptive of dwelling, landlord, and tenants such as white private home, colored home, Jewish home, Hispanic residence, adult building
Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin
Symbols or logotypes which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin
Colloquialisms - Words or phrases used regionally or locally which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin
Directions to real estate for sale or rent (use of maps or written instructions) - including references to real estate location made in terms of racial or national origin significant landmarks, such as an existing black development; specific directions which make reference to a racial or national origin area; or references to a synagogue, congregation or parish that may also indicate a religious preference.
Area (location) description - names of facilities which cater to a particular racial, national origin or religious group, such as country club or private school designations, or names of facilities which are used exclusively by one sex may indicate a preference.
Use of Equal Housing Opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan. All advertising of residential real estate for sale, rent, or financing should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the homeseeking public that the property is available to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.