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Advertising with Fair Housing Laws

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Advertising with Fair Housing Laws

A gavel with a house beside it resembling fair housing laws

Establishing marketing regulations helps ensure advertising is done legally and ethically. It keeps businesses on the same playing field and maintains trust with potential clients, so they aren’t misled or deceived.

When it comes to marketing in the senior living space, it’s essential to be well-acquainted with the Fair Housing Act to ensure your advertising and online presence aren’t breaking any rules. 

Working with a dedicated team of marketing professionals who have extensive experience working with senior living communities can provide the guidance and support you need. From your website to social media posts, we ensure your marketing complies with advertising guidelines.

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act was established in 1968 to protect individuals and families from discrimination in the sale, rental, financing, or advertising of housing. These laws make it illegal to be discriminate and make housing unavailable to persons due to: 

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Familial status
  • Disability

These laws also make it illegal to change the terms and conditions of a housing agreement based on these qualities or characteristics. 

Many states have more extensive versions of these laws, including prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, source of income, or marital status. It’s crucial to understand the laws in your area to ensure compliance.

How Does this Impact Advertising in the Senior Living Space?

According to the Fair Housing Act, advertising for senior living communities may express a preference for older persons but may not express any preference based on race, religion, sex, disability, or national origin. 

As an example, a senior living community can’t publish an advertisement that only depicts white persons. Nor can an ad seek “active” older persons or use other terms to suggest discrimination based on a disability. 

Though one area of the law prohibits discrimination in housing against families with children under 18, there is a “housing for older persons” exemption giving senior living communities the right to refuse to rent to families with minor children. In order to be exempt, the community must prove:

  • They are specifically designed and operated to assist older persons
  • They are intended for and solely occupied by residents age 62 and older: or
  • Intended and operated for residents 55 and older
Laptop with digital marketing icons flowing out of it

Fair Housing in the Digital Age

In 1968, when the Fair Housing Act was established, it was before the rise of a digital world and digital advertising. That being said, Fair Housing Laws must still be applied to digital advertising and on the web. Online advertisements including or excluding specific audiences or neighbourhoods could be considered discriminatory and break the laws of the Fair Housing Act, leading to potential fines.

Our team of marketing scientists is very familiar when it comes to the Fair Housing Act and advertising. For example, when creating a Facebook advertisement, Facebook may flag your ad under housing, meaning you can’t discriminate based on age and gender, and you must use broad location targeting.

What does this mean for your ad? We cannot use detailed targeting or select specific behaviours or interests. The ad will be set to target an audience of 18–65+ within a 15-mile radius. 

Not all ads get flagged under housing, but working with a knowledgeable marketing professional can help you decide if it’s worth blanket advertising to everyone or not. At CITIZEN, we take into account your goals and budget to get you valuable traffic to your website.

Reach the Right Audience with CITIZEN

As a housing provider in the senior living space, you must know your area’s federal, state, and local laws and ensure compliance. At CITIZEN, we’re proud to have a skilled team with experience advertising in compliance with the Fair Housing Act, and we would be happy to assist you with your advertising needs. 

Contact us today!

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