Online Advertiser Agrees to $15,000 Settlement
HUD recently announced that an online advertiser has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle claims that it violated the Fair Housing Act when it posted ads on its Web sites that discriminated against families with children.
The settlement is the result of a complaint initiated by HUD after the Florida-based company allegedly printed a rental advertisement on its Web page that stated “No children, No kids.” Federal fair housing law prohibits housing discrimination based on family status, including publishing print, broadcast, or Internet advertisements that indicate a preference or otherwise discriminate against families with children.
Under the settlement, the advertiser agreed to develop a screening filter that will flag potentially discriminatory ads for human review and train its employees on how to comply with fair housing advertising guidelines. The agreement also calls for the company to donate $7,500 to a HUD-funded state fair housing organization and to contribute another $7,500 to a HUD-approved local fair housing group to cover the cost of the group’s future fair housing advertisements.
“The Internet has revolutionized the way people search for housing and how housing providers advertise available housing. It cannot be a place to avoid the Fair Housing Act,” John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “This voluntary agreement will help housing providers easily meet their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.”