RULE 186-2-.06 - Fair Housing Advertising

RULE 186-2-.06. Fair Housing Advertising

(1) Policy. It is the policy of the State of Georgia to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States. The provisions of the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended (O.C.G.A. 8-3-200et 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. O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-202(a)(3) of the Georgia Fair Housing Law, 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 O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-205 of the Act.

(2) 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.

(3) 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 there of 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 there on 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 practice" means an act that is unlawful under Sections 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 protection 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.

(4) Scope.

(a) General. This part describes the matters the Commission will review in evaluating compliance with the Georgia Fair Housing Law in connection with investigations of complaints alleging discriminatory housing practices involving advertising. Use of these criteria will be considered by the Administrator in making determinations as to whether there is 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 Administrator in making determinations as to whether there is 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 Administrator in making a determination of 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.

(5) USE OF WORDS, PHRASES, SYMBOLS, AND VISUAL AIDS.

(a) General. 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 Georgia Fair Housing Law, the Commission 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.

1. Words descriptive of dwelling, landlord, and tenants. White private home, Colored home, Jewish home, Hispanic residence, adult building.

2. Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin:

(i) Race - Negro, Black, Caucasian, Oriental, American Indian;

(ii) Color - White, Black, Colored;

(iii) Religion - Protestant, Christian, Catholic, Jew;

(iv) National origin - Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Philippine, Polish, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Chicano, African, Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, Latino;

(v) 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.

(vi) 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.

(vii) 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 these rules.

(viii) 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."

3. Symbols or logotypes. Symbols or logotypes which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

4. Colloquialism. Words or phrases used regionally or locally which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

5. 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.

6. 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.

(6) Selective use of advertising media or content.

(a) General.

1. The selective use of advertising media or content when particular combinations there of are used exclusively with respect to various housing developments or sites can lead to discriminatory results and may indicate a violation of the Georgia Fair Housing Law. 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:

(i) 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 segment of the community; or displays or announcements available only in selected sales offices.

(ii) 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.

(iii) 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.

(7) Fair housing policy and practices.

(a) General.

1. In the investigation of complaints, the Administrator 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 Georgia Fair Housing Law.

(i) 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.

(ii) 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.

(iii) 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.

(iv) Notification of fair housing policy:

(I) 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.

(II) 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.

(III) 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.

Appendix I to Rule 186-2-.06et seq. - Fair Housing Advertising.

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

2×2

1/8 page up to ½ page

1×1

4 column inches to 1/8 page

½×½

Less than 4 column inches

(1)

     

1/ Do not use less than 4 column inches.

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. 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 Georgia policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the State. 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 Georgia 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.

(Original Rule entitled "Fair Housing Advertising" adopted. F. Dec. 29, 1992; eff. Jan. 18, 1993.)

O.C.G.A. Secs. 8-3-200(b), 8-3-201, 8-3-202(a)(3), 8-3-206, 8-3-206(a).

The following state regulations pages link to this page.