Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/13/2021

Article 2. Responses

18VAC135-50-260. Affirmative advertising efforts.

Article 2
Advertising

Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict advertising efforts designed to attract persons to dwellings who would not ordinarily be expected to apply, when such efforts are pursuant to an affirmative marketing program or undertaken to remedy the effects of prior discrimination in connection with the advertising or marketing of dwellings.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-96.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 2.20, eff. December 1, 1991.

18VAC135-50-270. Use of words, phrases, symbols and visual aids.

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 law, the board will consider the use of these and comparable words, phrases, symbols, and forms to determine a possible violation of the law 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 law is likely to result.

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

2. Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran, including:

a. Race: African-American, Negro, Black, White, Caucasian, Oriental, Asian, American Indian, Native American, Arab.

b. Color: White, Black, Colored.

c. Religion: Protestant, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Islamic.

d. National origin: Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Philippine, Polish, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Chicano, African, Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, Latino.

e. 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 intending 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 section restricts advertisements of dwellings used exclusively for dormitory facilities by educational institutions.

f. Disability: crippled, blind, deaf, mentally ill, retarded, impaired, handicapped, physically fit. Nothing in this section restricts the inclusion of information about the availability of accessible housing in advertising of dwellings.

g. Familial status: adults, children, singles, mature persons. Nothing in this section restricts advertisements of dwellings that are intended and operated for occupancy by older persons and that constitute "housing for older persons" as defined in 18VAC135-50-210.

h. Elderliness: elderly, senior citizens, young, old, active, available to those between 25 and 55.

i. Sexual orientation: lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, same-sex couples.

j. Gender identity: transgender, trans.

k. Source of funds: voucher, section 8, social security, disability income, government benefits.

3. Catch words. Words and phrases used in a discriminatory context should be avoided, e.g., "restricted," "exclusive," "private," "integrated," "traditional," "board approval," "membership approval."

4. Symbols or logotypes. Symbols or logotypes that imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran.

5. Colloquialisms. Words or phrases used regionally or locally that imply or suggest race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.8 and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 3613.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 2.21, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. March 1, 2014.

18VAC135-50-280. Selective use of advertising media or content.

The selective use of advertising media or content when particular combinations thereof are used exclusively with respect to various housing developments or sites can lead to discriminatory results and may indicate a violation of the fair housing law. For example, the use of English language media alone or the exclusive use of media catering to the majority population in an area, when, in such area, there are also available non-English language or other minority media, may have discriminatory impact. Similarly, the selective use of human models in advertisements may have discriminatory impact. The following are examples of the selective use of advertisements which may be discriminatory:

1. Selective geographic advertisements. Such selective use may involve the strategic placement of billboards; brochure advertisements distributed within a limited geographic area by hand or in the mail; advertising in particular geographic coverage editions of major metropolitan newspapers or in newspapers of limited circulation which are mainly advertising vehicles for reaching a particular segment of the community; or displays or announcements available only in selected sales offices.

2. Selective use of equal opportunity slogan or logo. When placing advertisements, such selective use may involve placing the equal housing opportunity slogan or logo in advertising reaching some geographic areas, but not others, or with respect to some properties but not others.

3. Selective use of human models when conducting an advertising campaign. Selective advertising may involve an advertising campaign using human models primarily in media that cater to one racial or national origin segment of the population without a complementary advertising campaign that is directed at other groups. Another example may involve use of racially mixed models by a developer to advertise one development and not others. Similar care must be exercised in advertising in publications or other media directed at one particular sex, or at persons without children. Such selective advertising may involve the use of human models of members of only one sex, or of adults only, in displays, photographs, or drawings to indicate preferences for one sex or the other, or for adults to the exclusion of children.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-96.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 2.22, eff. December 1, 1991.

18VAC135-50-290. Fair housing policy and practices.

In the investigation of complaints, the board will consider the implementation of fair housing policies and practices provided in this section as evidence of compliance with the prohibitions against discrimination in advertising under the fair housing law.

1. Use of equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan. All advertising of residential real estate for sale, rent, or financing should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the homeseeking public that the property is available to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran. The choice of logotype, statement, or slogan will depend on the type of media used (visual or auditory) and, in space advertising, on the size of the advertisement. See Appendix I to 24 CFR Part 109, Ch. 1 (4/1/2000 edition) for suggested use of the logotype, statement, or slogan and size of logotype and copies of the suggested equal housing opportunity logotype, statement and slogan. A copy of Appendix I to 24 CFR Part 109, Ch. 1 (4/1/2000 edition) is posted on the Fair Housing Office's website or may be obtained by contacting the Fair Housing Office.

2. Use of human models. Human models in photographs, drawings, or other graphic techniques may not be used to indicate exclusiveness because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran. If models are used in display advertising campaigns, the models should be clearly definable as reasonably representing majority and minority groups in the metropolitan area, both sexes and, when appropriate, families with children. Models, if used, should portray persons in an equal social setting and indicate to the general public that the housing is open to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran, and is not for the exclusive use of one such group. Human models include any depiction of a human being, paid or unpaid, resident or nonresident.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.8 and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 3613.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 2.23, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. March 1, 2014.

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