On March 28, 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed a lawsuit against Facebook, stating that its advertising practices violate the Fair Housing Act (FHA). HUD asserted that Facebook violated the FHA by “encouraging, enabling, and causing” housing discrimination through its advertising platform. The FHA and similar state and local laws prohibit discrimination in housing advertisements based on protected characteristics including race, religion, sex, age, familial status, disability, and more. 

Although G5 looks to our advertising partners, like Facebook, to reach users in our target audience; we do not target or exclude users based on protected characteristics. We use property aspects including geographic location, places of interest, and property features to build target audiences for digital campaigns. The G5 Digital Strategy team has been trained on FHA compliance and builds campaigns with compliance in mind. We work with our clients to create compelling websites and ad campaigns that drive interest from prospective renters, while also taking FHA compliance into account.

Facebook Ads Best Practices to Maintain FHA Compliance

At G5, we understand the impact of the FHA on your digital advertising campaigns, including Facebook ads. We follow best practices to ensure your digital ads tell the story of your brand by focusing on property features, like geographic location, nearby places of interest, and amenities. By adhering to the following best practices, your digital ads are more likely to be FHA compliant: 

  • Focus on property amenities, not who you think your ideal renter would be
  • Do not exclude protected classes from advertising (ex. families with children, people with disabilities, or people from certain ethnicities)
  • Be truthful about the availability, price, amenities, and features of your property. Make this information available to anyone.
  • Avoid words like: limited, restricted, exclusive. These imply exclusion.

In general, avoid language that singles out a specific, protected characteristic. Saying “family-friendly” or “no kids” could be deemed a restriction based on familial status. Similarly, using the phrase “Christian housing” could be considered discrimination based on religion. Instead, focus on features like walk-in closets, great views, and proximity to useful resources like a bus stop or transit station.

Still have questions about maintaining FHA compliance with Facebook ads? Schedule a demo to learn more about the G5 platform and how we help multifamily marketers make the smartest business decisions.