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"Crippled, No" and "AIDs, No" Not Acceptable Terms in Listings

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Kudos to the New York Times's Appraisal column, which has just published what might be the best story lede of all time: "It shouldn’t take a lawyer to know that it is illegal to use phrases like 'no Chicanos,' 'no blacks' or 'not for handicapped' in a real estate listing." Well, all righty then—lesson learned! The article continues to explain that 1968's Fair Housing Act has forced brokers to make nice and not use any terms that might be perceived as discriminatory in listing text. "Bachelor pad," for instance, might have undertones of gender bias, as might "fisherman's retreat," apparently. "Sophisticated" might speak to level of education, mental capacity, and/or one's willingness to debate the complexities of beignets. Even "family" has discriminatory shades—some brokers call it "the F word!" Since the Department of Housing and Urban Development has no master guidelines about what can and can't be said, each brokerage has its own rules about banned expressions. The Times aggregated a bunch into a massive list that's essentially one huge lawsuit-in-waiting. Boy, is it amazing.

1. Mormon Temple

2. Crippled, no

3. Church near

4. African

5. AIDS, no

6. English only

7. Retarded, no

8. White

9. Healthy only

10. Wheelchairs, no

· To Fight Discrimination, a Long List of No-Nos [NYT]