EP86: Summit Recap Fair Housing Compliance in the Digital Age

October 14, 2021

Housing legislation was first introduced in order to battle the issues related to discrimination in the real estate industry. Since then, complying with fair housing regulations has been one of the most important concerns for people in the multifamily marketing industry. In today’s episode, we're giving a recap from our Digible Summit, where we talked extensively about how to maintain fair housing compliance in the age of digital advertising. Joining us today are David Lerchbacher, Digible’s Chief Data Officer, Doug Chasick, fair housing consultant, and Professor Scott Burris from Temple University.

We start the conversation with a brief review of the history of fair housing legislation and the motive behind implementing these regulations. We also talk about Digible’s Fiona platform and how It helps with fair housing complaint-related activities. Then we moved on to a small FAQ session where Lerch answered some of the questions we received from the audience.

We discuss some of the confusing points related to maintaining fair housing compliance regarding digital ads. We also talk about some of the consequences of not maintaining compliance, and our thoughts on protected classes and how we could improve them advertising initiatives.

We asked Scott about some of the research he was a part of a few years back and what they discovered in that research that reveals some of the voice trade issues related to fair housing across the country. We also talked about the efficacy of self-policing versus government regulations and Scott provides insight on a common set of rules across the country at the federal level. Wrapping up the episode, we talk about what are the most efficient ways of taking action against housing violations.

[01:45] History of Fair Housing – The purpose behind fair housing legislation and how it evolved over the years.

[04:28] Fiona – What Digible’s Fiona platform offers in terms of fair housing related features and the results of the tests conducted by the Fiona team.

[09:50] FAQ – Lerch answers a few questions we have received regarding fair housing compliance, complaint handling, and lawsuits.

[15:02] Wording - Our second guest, Doug Chasick, explains one of the confusing aspects about using terms related to walkability in a way that is not discriminatory.

[21:56] Squeaky Clean - Doug emphasizes why it’s important to be squeaky clean in terms of marketing efforts. He also shares his take on how training comes into play for compliance.

[29:56] Third-party Agencies - We asked Doug who would be liable in a complaint about a scenario where a property owner hires a 3rd party agency and that 3rd party makes a compliance mishap.

[32:12] Consequences - Doug explains the consequences of complaints and federal lawsuits related to fair housing discrimination.

[35:00] Protected Classes - Doug shares his thoughts on what protected classes he’s like to see being added to the national protected classes that are currently protected only in a handful of areas.

[38:27] Future Changes - We asked Doug about what changes he sees coming in the next few years for the real estate marketing arena.

[54:45] Federal Fair Housing Laws - Doug asked Scott about his thoughts on implementing one set of rules across the whole country and the pros and cons of it.

[58:17] Tools and Issues - Scott shares his take on the use of technology to identify the scale of fair housing related issues and the most efficient ways to implement the most effective auditing procedures for finding issues and taking action against fair housing violations.

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