24 CFR 109.20 Use of words, phrases, symbols, and visual aids

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EDITOR'S NOTE: 24 CFR Part 109 is no longer officially part of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 109 was withdrawn from the Code of Federal Regulations by directive no. FR-4029-F-01, effective May 1, 1996. We have included the Part 109 regulations here because they still apparently represent the position of HUD on advertising issues, except as they were superceded by Roberta Achtenberg's memo of Jan. 9, 1995.

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 Fair Housing Act, the Department 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.

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

(b) Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin --

(1) Race -- Negro, Black, Caucasian, Oriental, American Indian.

(2) Color -- White, Black, Colored.

(3) Religion -- Protestant, Christian, Catholic, Jew.

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

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) 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 part 100 of this title.

(8) 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.

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

(d) Colloquialisms. Words or phrases used regionally or locally which imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(e) 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.

(f) 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.