List of Words or Phrases to Avoid
45.181. Words to be avoided.
- It is unlawful to use the following words or phrases in housing advertisements unless used in a clearly non-discriminatory context such as “white cabinets” or “French doors.” The list is neither intended nor reasonably able to be all inclusive. It is also unlawful to use words or phrases not appearing on the list, but which are used in a context which may be reasonably interpreted as indicating an unlawful discriminatory intent.
Should you have any questions about Fair Housing, the Fair Housing Act, or if you wish to report these words being used in a housing advertisement, please contact Matthew Marks, Government Affairs Director, at Matthew@GLVR.org
Adult—If the housing is “housing for older persons” as defined by the Federal Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 3601-3619 and 3631) and the act, it is appropriate to say so.
- A newspaper/publisher may publish an advertisement for housing, and be held harmless for liability for an advertisement which uses the terms “senior housing,” “seniorcommunity,” “retirement community,” if the advertiser provides a statement formally, in writing, to the newspaper/publisher that the property being advertised meets the requirements for housing for older persons as defined in the act.
- Equivalent phrases referring to persons 55 and 62 and older such as “adult community, 55 and over,” “adult community, 62 and over,” “adult 55+,” “adult 62+” to describe housing for older persons, will also be acceptable.
- The term “adult” alone or with terms that do not meet housing for older persons requirements will remain unlawful terms as a description of housing for older persons.
Child/children—Restrictions, unless “housing for older persons.”
Color (any when used to describe persons)
Disability (any)—It is acceptable to describe housing as accessible to persons with disabilities. It is not acceptable to attempt to limit the housing to certain persons by stating that it is not accessible.
Ethnic group (any)
Ideal for . . . (a type of person)
Independently, capable of living
Mentally handicapped, ill, retarded
Perfect for . . . (a type of person)
Race (any, when used to describe a person)
Religion (any, when used to describe persons)
Retired persons, retirees—If it is “housing for older persons,” as defined by the Federal Fair Housing Act and the act, use that phrase, as many people who are retired may not qualify for housing for older persons while many people still working may in fact be eligible for housing for older persons.
Senior Use—“housing for older persons,” as defined by the Federal Fair Housing Act and the act. See note under adult and retired persons. Many people who do not consider themselves senior may be eligible for housing for older persons.
(b) Any of the words in subsection (a) may be used if they are part of an address. For example, Poplar Church Road, Lutheran Street, Churchville, Black Ridge or Indian Hills, and the like, are permissible.