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Equal Housing Opportunity

WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN HOUSING

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that an individual will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it directly impacts the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved. It is for this reason that the Fair Housing Act and other federal and state laws were enacted to guarantee a right to a national housing market free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

THE LAW

Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.
State and Local Laws
State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

THE RESPONSIBILITIES

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

For the Home Seller
As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

For the Home Seeker
You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
This includes the right to expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination;
  • Equal professional service;
  • The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices;
  • No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing;
  • No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing;
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities;
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling; and
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights

For the Real Estate Professional
Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

THE REALTOR® FAIR HOUSING PROGRAM

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics
Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. REALTORS® shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.

IF YOU SUSPECT DISCRIMINATION

Call the Local Board of REALTORS®
Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.

Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.

Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or by calling HUD's toll free numbers, 1-800-669-9777 (voice), or 1-800-543-8294 (TDD).

Contact HUD on the internet at http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/index.cfm


House4-rent.com Disclaimer:

House4-rent.com makes every effort to publish the most current and accurate information possible. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, its use, or its interpretation.

House4-rent.com complies with and upholds the advertising guidelines of The US Department of HUD, Fair Housing Practices.  By agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set forth by House4-rent.com and The US Department of HUD, the advertiser assumes responsibility for complying with these guidelines. 
House4-rent.com accepts no liability for any such lack of compliance.

Please see Fair Housing Advertising Guidelines at
http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/yourrights.cfm

http://www.justice.gov/crt/housing/title8.php

PART 109--FAIR HOUSING ADVERTISING Sec. 109.5         Policy. 109.10  Purpose. 109.15   Definitions. 109.16  Scope. 109.20  Use of words, phrases, symbols, and visual aids. 109.25   Selective use of advertising media or content. 109.30       Fair housing policy and practices. A PPENDIX I TO PART 109—FAIR H OUSING A DVERTISING AUTHORITY :  Title VIII, Civil Rights Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3600-3620; section 7(d), Department of HUD Act, 42 U.S.C. 3535(d). SOURCE :  54 FR 3308, Jan. 23, 1989, unless otherwise noted. § 109.5  Policy. It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.  The provisions of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3600, et seq .) make it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and in the provision of brokerage and appraisal services, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604(c), as amended, makes it unlawful to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published, any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling, that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. However, the prohibitions of the act regarding familial status do not apply with respect to housing for older persons , as defined in section 807(b) of the act. § 109.10  Purpose. The purpose of this part is to assist 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. These regulations also describe the matters this Department will review in evaluating compliance with the Fair Housing Act in connection with investigations of complaints alleging discriminatory housing practices involving advertising. § 109.15  Definitions. As used in this part:
(a) Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. (b) General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (c) Dwelling means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof. (d) Family includes a single individual. (e) Person includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in cases under Title 11 of the United States Code, receivers, and fiduciaries. (f) To rent includes to lease, to sublease, to let and otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant. (g) Discriminatory housing practicemeans an act that is unlawful under section 804, 805, 806, or 818 of the Fair Housing Act. (h) Handicap means, with respect to a person-- (1)  A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, (2) A record of having such an impairment, or (3) Being regarded as having such an impairment. This term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).  For purposes of this part, an individual shall not be considered to have a handicap solely because that individual is a transvestite. (i) Familial status means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with-- (1) A parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals;  or (2) The designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.  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 18 years.
§ 109.16  Scope. (a) General . This part describes the matters the Department will review in evaluating compliance with the Fair Housing Act in connection with investigations of complaints alleging discriminatory housing practices involving advertising.  Use of these criteria will be considered by the General Counsel in making determinations as to whether there is reasonable cause, and by the Assistant Secretary in making determinations that there is no reasonable cause, to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur. (1) Advertising media . This part provides criteria for use by advertising media in determining whether to accept and publish advertising regarding sales or rental transactions.  Use of these criteria will be considered by the General Counsel in making determinations as to whether there is reasonable cause, and by the Assistant Secretary in making determinations that there is no reasonable cause, to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur. (2) Persons placing advertisements. A failure by persons placing advertisements to use the criteria contained in this part, when found in connection with the investigation of a complaint alleging the making or use of discriminatory advertisements, will be considered by the General Counsel in making a determination of reasonable cause, and by the Assistant Secretary in making determinations that there is no reasonable cause, to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur. (b) Affirmative advertising efforts. Nothing in this part shall be construed to restrict advertising efforts designed to attract persons to dwellings who would not ordinarily be expected to apply, when such efforts are pursuant to an affirmative marketing program or undertaken to remedy the effects of prior discrimination in connection with the advertising or marketing of dwellings. [54 FR 308, Jan. 23 1989, as amended at 55 FR 53294, Dec. 28, 1990.] § 109.20  Use of words, phrases, symbols, and visual aids. The following words, phrases, symbols, and forms typify those most often used in residential real estate advertising to convey either overt or tacit discriminatory preferences or limitations.  In considering a complaint under the Fair Housing Act,  the Department will normally consider the use of these and comparable words, phrases, symbols, and forms to indicate a possible violation of the act and to establish a need for further proceedings on the complaint, if it is apparent from the context of the usage that discrimination within the meaning of the act is likely to result. (a) Words descriptive of dwelling, landlord, and tenants . White private home, Colored home, Jewish home, Hispanic residence, adult building. (b) Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin -- (1) Race --Negro, Black, Caucasian, Oriental, American Indian.
(2) Color --White, Black, Colored. (3) Religion --Protestant, Christian, Catholic, Jew. (4) National origin --Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Philippine, Polish, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Chicano, African, Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, Latino. (5) Sex --the exclusive use of words in advertisements, including those involving the rental of separate units in a single or multi-family dwelling, stating or tending to imply that the housing being advertised is available to persons of only one sex and not the other, except where the sharing of living areas is involved.  Nothing in this part restricts advertisements of dwellings used exclusively for dormitory facilities by educational institutions. (6) Handicap --crippled, blind, deaf, mentally ill, retarded, impaired, handicapped, physically fit. Nothing in this part restricts the inclusion of information about the availability of accessible housing in advertising of dwellings. (7) Familial status --adults, children, singles, mature persons.  Nothing in this part restricts advertisements of dwellings which are intended and operated for occupancy by older persons and which constitute housing for older persons as defined in Part 100 of this title. (8) Catch words --Words and phrases used in a discriminatory context should be avoided, e.g., restricted, exclusive, private, integrated, traditional, board approval or membership approval. (c) Symbols or logotypes. Symbols or logotypes which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. (d) Colloquialisms. Words or phrases used regionally or locally which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. (e) Directions to real estate for sale or rent (use of maps or written instructions). Directions can imply a discriminatory preference, limitation, or exclusion.  For example, references to real estate location made in terms of racial or national origin significant landmarks, such as an existing black development (signal to blacks) or an existing development known for its exclusion of minorities (signal to whites).  Specific directions which make reference to a racial or national origin significant area may indicate a preference.  References to a synagogue, congregation or parish may also indicate a religious preference. (f) 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. § 109.25 Selective use of advertising media or content. The selective use of advertising media or content when particular combinations thereof are used exclusively with respect to various housing developments or sites can lead to discriminatory
results and may indicate a violation of the Fair Housing Act. 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.  Similarly, the selective use of human models in advertisements may have discriminatory impact.  The following are examples of the selective use of advertisements which may be discriminatory: (a) Selective geographic advertisements . Such selective use may involve the strategic placement of billboards; brochure advertisements distributed within a limited geographic area by hand or in the mail; advertising in particular geographic coverage editions of major metropolitan newspapers or in newspapers of limited circulation which are mainly advertising vehicles for reaching a particular segment of the community; or displays or announcements available only in selected sales offices. (b) Selective use of equal opportunity slogan or logo . When placing advertisements, such selective use may involve placing the equal housing opportunity slogan or logo in advertising reaching some geographic areas, but not others, or with respect to some properties but not others. (c) Selective use of human models when conducting an advertising campaign. Selective advertising may involve an advertising campaign using human models primarily in media that cater to one racial or national origin segment of the population without a complementary advertising campaign that is directed at other groups.  Another example may involve use of racially mixed models by a developer to advertise one development and not others.  Similar care must be exercised in advertising in publications or other media directed at one particular sex, or at persons without children.  Such selective advertising may involve the use of human models of members of only one sex, or of adults only, in displays, photographs or drawings to indicate preferences for one sex or the other, or for adults to the exclusion of children. § 109.30 Fair housing policy and practices. In the investigation of complaints, the Assistant Secretary will consider the implementation of fair housing policies and practices provided in this section as evidence of compliance with the prohibitions against discrimination in advertising under the Fair Housing Act. (a) 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.  The choice of logotype, statement or slogan will depend on the type of media used (visual or auditory) and, in space advertising, on the size of the advertisement.  Table I (see Appendix I) indicates suggested use of the logotype, statement, or slogan and size of logotype.  Table II (see Appendix I) contains copies of the suggested Equal Housing Opportunity logotype, statement and slogan. (b) Use of human models. 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.  If models are used in display advertising campaigns, the models should be clearly definable as reasonably representing majority and minority groups in the metropolitan area, both sexes, and, when appropriate, families with children. 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. (c) Coverage of local laws . Where the Equal Housing Opportunity statement is used, the advertisement may also include a statement regarding the coverage of any local fair housing or human rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of dwellings. (d) Notification of fair housing policy -- (1) Employees . All publishers of advertisements, advertising agencies, and firms engaged in the sale, rental or financing of real estate should provide a printed copy of their nondiscrimination policy to each employee and officer. (2) Clients . All publishers or advertisements and advertising agencies should post a copy of their nondiscrimination policy in a conspicuous location wherever persons place advertising and should have copies available for all firms and persons using their advertising services. (3) Publishers' notice . All publishers should publish at the beginning of the real estate advertising section a notice such as that appearing in Table III (see Appendix I). The notice may include a statement regarding the coverage of any local fair housing or human rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of dwellings. A PPENDIX I TO PART 109--FAIR H OUSING A DVERTISING The following three tables may serve as a guide for the use of the Equal Housing Opportunity logotype, statement, slogan, and publisher's notice for advertising: Table I A simple formula can guide the real estate advertiser in using the Equal Housing Opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan. In all space advertising (advertising in regularly printed media such as newspapers or magazines) the following standards should be used: Size of advertisement Size of logotype in inches ½ page or larger……………………………….. 2x2 1/8 page up to ½ page………………………… 1x1 4 column inches to 1/8 page….......................…½ x ½

Less than 4 column inches (1)       1 Do not use. In any other advertisements, if other logotypes are used in the advertisement, then the Equal Housing Opportunity logo should be of a size at least equal to the largest of the other logotypes; if no other logotypes are used, then the type should be bold display face which is clearly visible. Alternatively, when no other logotypes are used, 3 to 5 percent of an advertisement may be devoted to a statement of the equal housing opportunity policy. In space advertising which is less than 4 column inches (one column 4 inches long or two columns 2 inches long) of a page in size, the Equal Housing Opportunity slogan should be used. Such advertisements may be grouped with other advertisements under a caption which states that the housing is available to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Table II Illustrations of Logotype, Statement, and Slogan.  Equal Housing Opportunity Logotype: Equal Housing Opportunity Statement:  We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation.  We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Equal Housing Opportunity Slogan:  "Equal Housing Opportunity." Table III Illustration of Media Notice--Publisher's notice:  All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise "any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination." We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.
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