Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

Recent investigative reporting by ProPublica reveals that Facebook continues to allow discriminatory housing ads—long after the practice was exposed—and after Facebook executives vowed to correct those clear violation of the Fair Housing Act.

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.

An excerpt of the article follows:

“Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americansmothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair rampsJewsexpats from Argentina and Spanish speakers.

All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Every single ad was approved within minutes.”

This was despite Facebook’s own policy. View the process ProPublica used to test that policy.

See the full article here.

And for those looking for an ADA-compliant, multilingual rental listing and locator option, see www.housingidaho.com

Why Economic Developers Hope That “Fair Housing Still Has a Chance Under Trump”

The most recent State of Idaho Assessment of Fair Housing takes an ‘Economic Opportunity Approach’ to what is traditionally perceived as a civil rights issue affecting minority populations and other protected classes. An excerpt follows:

“This study approaches the analysis of fair housing issues through an “opportunity lens.” This was done to:

  • Incorporate recent research that links long‐term economic gains of cities and states to advancing economic growth of residents,
  • Incorporate the latest legal developments around fair housing, and
  • Most importantly, identify where the Grantees can best intervene to improve the economic opportunities of residents and, ultimately the fiscal health, of non‐entitlement communities.”

In other words, the report shows that the overall economic health and stability of a city or state depend on the economic opportunities of all residents. When everyone can access safe, quality housing within their household budget and close to employment or other services, they have more time, energy and income to invest in neighborhoods and communities. At the same time, they are less dependent on public assistance or other social services.

Housing choice (the right to determine where we live and can afford) and stability are essential components in the development of social capital, sometimes defined as “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.”

When individuals and families feel part of a neighborhood or community, they are better able to form trusting relationships and cultivate connections that can lead to opportunities—whether in employment, education, health care or personal growth and development. From the perspective of those who stress personal responsibility and self-reliance, housing choice (aka, ‘Fair Housing’) should be seen as the best investment, hands down.

For an informative and riveting history of the origin and reason for the Fair Housing Act, this 2015 podcast from This American Life and ProPublica is one of the best introductions around. For those short on time, Act Two is particularly fascinating.

The Slate article linked below contemplates the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing  (AFFH) rule and how it may fare moving forward under a new administration. The AFFH rule is intended to implement the core mission of the Fair Housing Act—to increase access to economic and social opportunities through something called housing choice. Where we live determines access to essential services and resources: clean air and water, healthy food, education, employment, police and fire protection, banking and lending, health care—even things like culture and recreation.

“An important rule, enacted late in the Obama administration, is just starting to knock down barriers in some of America’s most segregated places.”

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (or AFFH) rule, promulgated by President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015, marked the first forward momentum for the Fair Housing Act in decades. The rule required jurisdictions that receive federal housing funding to not only document barriers to integration and opportunity, but to detail—and prioritize—policies to eradicate them.

Read more here: Fair Housing Still Has a Chance Under Trump

 

April 28 Idaho Fair Housing A to Z Workshop—Boise, ID

Free Fair Housing Workshop

This is FREE training hosted by the Idaho Fair Housing Forum. Consumers, housing providers, managers, realtors, lenders, housing advocates, government personnel and officials—anyone interested in learning about:

  • Fair Housing Act
  • Support Animals
  • Reasonable Accommodations
  • Limited English Proficiency Compliance
  • Best Practices for addressing Harassment and Hate
  • Criminal Background
  • Affordable Housing/NIMBYism
  • Occupancy Polices
  • Rules Regarding Children
  • Affirmative Marketing, and more

Learn about your rights and obligations, obtain helpful fair housing materials and resources, and avoid costly litigation! Presenters include Intermountain Fair Housing Council, Housing Provider Attorney David Penny and other community presenters. Times listed are Mountain Time.

Location. Boise City Hall/Council Chambers, 150 North Capitol Boulevard,  Boise, ID 83702

Time. Doors and on-site registration open at 7:30am MST; program begins at 8am MST

Parking is available at various locations downtown.

Registration. To register for on-site attendance in Boise on Friday April 28, click here.

Webcast. To follow via live webcast beginning at 8am MST,  click here.

*For more information contact Brian Dale at 208-334-1338 brian.dale@hud.gov or Zoe Ann Olson of the Intermountain Fair Housing Council at 208-383-0695 or zolson@ifhcidaho.org

Please note.  if your e-mail address is long, be sure to include your phone number with your registration so we can contact you with any updates.

Presentation materials. The following materials were provided by Intermountain Fair Housing Council:

*This is an area of confusion for some. See more information here.

2017 Training Opportunities

Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Design and Construction Training—March 14th

This HUD-sponsored training is geared mainly towards architects, builders, developers and building officials.

  • Design & Construction Requirements of the Fair Housing Act Technical Overview—Module 10: Part I
  • Design & Construction Requirements of the Fair Housing Act Technical Overview—Module 10: Part II
  • Strategies for Compliant Bathrooms —Module 6
  • Common Design & Construction Violations & Solutions—Module 9

When
March 14th, 2017
7:15am – 3:30pm

Where
Boise City Hall Council Chambers
150 N. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
1-208-334-1990
(HUD’s Boise field office)

Regional Live Streaming Locations (for those interested in CEU credits):

Webcast link: click here.

Registration
http://fhafirst.eventbrite.com

Event Information
Submit requests for reasonable accommodations and questions to:
KSalmon@lcmarchitects.com
1-312-913-1717 x 248

CEU Credits
*This program is registered with the American Institute of Architects. Architects will receive up to 6 continuing education HSW credits.

NEW!—Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Flier Boise (requires Acrobat Reader)

HUD/FHEO Basic Fair Housing Webinars

Housing owners, property managers, renters, housing advocates – learn the basics of the Federal Fair Housing Act, with more in depth discussion on issues such as disability, family status, sexual orientation and domestic violence. This knowledge is not only critical to prevent costly violations, it’s also good business! This training will be held as a Live Webinar, with the video presentation conducted online and audio conducted using a telephone conference line. Log-in and call-in information will be emailed to registrants the day prior to the training date.

The times listed are PACIFIC time. Training is Free. Questions? Contact Kristina Miller at 206-220-5328 or Kristina.Miller@hud.gov

Click on the dates below to visit the registration page: