St. Louis Public Radio News
6:43 pm
Thu September 24, 2009

Local housing group alleges discrimination in senior living ads

St. Louis, MO – The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council has filed more than a dozen complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against some senior housing providers.

The council analyzed advertisements for senior housing in the St. Louis region. Report author Mira Tanna says that several housing providers unlawfully targeted their marketing by only showing white residents in ads, or using phrases suggesting a preference for Christians or people without disabilities.

"It doesn't really matter to us whether they are deliberately just showing white residents are whether they forget that they're supposed to be marketing to all segments of our community because if they're forgetting it, that probably means they don't have African-American residents living in their facility," Tanna said.

The council says the advertising campaigns were a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status and disability.