Legal Hotline: Fair Housing Notice HUD

  • May 19, 2016

Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel

Q:  Are newspapers required to run an equal opportunity notice as part of the real estate classified section?

A:  There is no Pennsylvania or federal law that requires newspapers in Pennsylvania to publish a fair housing notice, but federal fair housing regulations encourage publishers to do so.

Federal fair housing regulations state that publishers “should” publish a fair housing notice in the housing section of the newspaper.  The regulations are found in 24 CFR part 109.30(d)(3), which you can read here on the HUD website.

 The regulation states:

 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.

The sample notice taken from Table III in the federal regulations states:

“Publishers’ notice: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal 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.”

As always, this is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. Newspapers should contact their legal counsel or the PNA’s Legal Hotline at (717) 703-3080 if they have concerns about the content of a particular advertisement.

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