August 2022 Fair Housing Update

Rick Robinson

Remember the Facebook case? 

It was a case brought by the US Department of Justice alleging that the algorithms and systems used in FB ads violated the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the complaint alleged, among other things, that FB used algorithms in determining which Facebook users receive housing ads and that those algorithms rely, in part, on characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act.  

Well, the court has approved a settlement agreement in United States v. Meta Platforms, Inc., f/k/a Facebook, Inc. (S.D.N.Y.). The judgment approves a settlement between the government and FB providing that FB will stop using an advertising tool for housing ads (known as the “Special Ad Audience” tool) and also will develop a new system to address racial and other disparities caused by its use of personalization algorithms in its ad delivery system for housing ads.  Under the terms of the settlement, FB will not provide any ad targeting options for housing advertisers that directly describe or relate protected characteristics. The settlement also requires Meta to pay a civil penalty of $115,054, the maximum penalty available under the Fair Housing Act.  


HUD has entered into a Conciliation Agreement with two California property owners, a property management company, and a property manager resolving allegations that they discriminated against an interracial married couple on the basis of race and disability. A former employee of the Respondents allegedly made discriminatory statements about an interracial couple and refused to provide an accessible parking space for the husband. Read HUD’s Press Release here.

In Conciliation Agreement with a property owner and management company involving discrimination against families with children the landlord was charged with enacting overly restrictive rules targeting children’s access to common areas and enforcing a rule prohibiting personal items from being left in the common areas only against families with children. Read HUD’s Press Release here.


This HUD Charge against an owner and operator of an RV/MH park arose when they sent a letter warning a transgender tenant to act as a man, talk as a man, and dress as a man to avoid trouble. Read HUD’s Press release here.


The owner and operator of multiple rental units in Massachusetts, will pay $11,000 under a Consent Order resolving allegations that they refused to rent to a family because the family had children under the age of six. Read HUD’s Press release here.


In a Department of Justice case involving testers, it was alleged that the owners and managers of three apartment complexes in Pearl, Mississippi discriminated on the basis of race by steering African-American testers to one complex while falsely representing that the other complexes did not have any vacancies. The court entered an Order granting summary judgment against the defendants holding they violated the Fair Housing Act. 


An Administrative Law Judge found a landlord violated the Fair Housing Act when the landlord refused to rent to a mother and her daughter because of the daughter’s cerebral palsy.  Read HUD’s Press release here.


HUD has issued a Charge against a homeowners association with discriminating because the HOA imposed restrictions on assistance animals and then retaliated against two homeowners for filing a Fair Housing Act complaint. Read HUD’s Press Release here.


About Rick Robinson

Well-known industry professional Rick Robinson has joined to become its Executive Vice President of Industry Relations. In that role, the former General Counsel/Senior Vice President of State and Local Affairs for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) will be working to bring a new level of consumer technology to those buying homes and residing in communities.
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