Commercial, no. Discriminatory, okay?

I’m going to be generous and assume that both the advertiser here and the Giant management – who I presume police the board for objectionable and illegal material – are unaware of what a blatant violation of the fair housing laws this is.

8 Comments so far

  1. The Stickler (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 7:22 pm

    I think it’s not illegal when subletting a room in a private home. From the page you linked to:
    “In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.”

  2. Stacey (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

    there are some circumstances where you can specify. but there are ways around this – they should advertise at their church or at an area church like many people to do get people of like-minded beliefs to live with. they are exempt for that sort of rule.

    also, if you do have to go to craigs list or a similar alternative, people (which i do/have done) get around it by listing out all the things i want/don’t want in a rooommate and what can/cannot happen in the apartment… and it ends up working out.

    so while yeah, he/she i think is technically not allowed to say they want a christian to live in their home – would you have been upset if they outlined activities, etc. that were not allowed? i’m curious what you think.

  3. Don (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:23 am

    Stickler – actually this is the one place where private residence DOESN’T save you. From the linked page:

    In Addition: It is illegal for anyone 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. (emphasis mine)

  4. Don (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:46 am

    Stacey – I think there should probably be a wider swath cut in the law for situations where people are truly co-habitating, though I don’t really lose any sleep over it. As you said, there’s several ways to look for like-minded people if you’re concerned about such things so really unless your restrictions are -so- narrow that maybe you shouldn’t be advertising to the general public anyway, you’re going to find a way to pick the people you want. If the price paid for putting “no Irish” neighborhoods and blatant racial discrimination behind us is that this guy has to do a little more roommate interviewing than he would otherwise have to then that seems like a fair tradeoff.

  5. Mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 9:49 am

    I’m no housing law expert, but I know the intense giant underlined lettering of “CHRISTIAN PREFERRED” scares me.

  6. Anya (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    Don, I’m with you that we need to do what we can to stamp out discrimination, but I disagree that we should waste people’s time by forcing them to interview folks they aren’t ever willing to live with–that’s just silly. I certainly like men well enough, but I live in an all-girl house and I’d like to keep it that way. Not only is it a waste of my time to interview men, but its a waste of THEIR time to respond to a housing ad they are never going to get–everybody loses. I think the exception for single family/cohabiting housing situations is definitely justified, but limiting their advertising just makes no sense.

  7. Mary (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    While this looks like a blanant violation of fair housing rules- the fact that its a “reverand” gives them an out. There are certain religious exceptions for churches. But it’s still offensive.

  8. Don (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

    I feel reasonably confident he isn’t looking for a roommate to live in his church.

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