Formal complaint alleges Facebook allowed advertisers to violate Fair Housing regulations
WASHINGTON (August 20, 2018) – On Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a housing discrimination complaint against Facebook, alleging the site’s targeting tools allow advertisers to intentionally exclude specific demographics from viewing or receiving certain housing-related ads. HUD claims the social media site violated the Fair Housing Act by enabling advertisers to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers based on their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability. National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, issued the following statement in support of HUD’s aggressive enforcement of the Fair Housing Act:
“In 2018, as America recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the National Association of Realtors® strongly supports a housing market free from all types of discrimination. However, as various online tools and platforms continue to transform the real estate industry in the 21st Century, our understanding of how this law is enforced and applied must continue to evolve as well. Realtors® commend the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Ben Carson for taking decisive action to defend fair housing laws, and for working to ensure its intended consumer protections extend to wherever real estate is marketed.”
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.