The New York Times runs through the "fair housing protections" that are forcing Manhattan real estate agents to purge their listings of "offensive" descriptors:
"What kind of people live in this building?"
That is often the first question brokers are asked by apartment hunters — be they couples with children, retirees seeking peace and quiet or 20-somethings prone to the occasional raucous party.
But in recent months, thousands of brokers have learned that in answering that question, they might just be breaking the law. Many real estate ads, for instance, use "family friendly" to describe large apartments. But according to a strict interpretation of federal, state and local fair-housing laws, that is illegal.
The State Legislature last week passed legislation that will require all brokers seeking to renew their licenses to undergo at least three hours of fair-housing training as part of their 22 ½ hours of continuing education. (Similar training is already required for initial licensing.)
The real estate board joined with the New York State Association of Realtors in March to sponsor the amendment. After Mr. Garfinkel's recent seminar at Gumley Haft Kleier, Ms. Kleier said she had her staff comb through the agency's advertisements and remove wording that suggested a building might be "great for families."
Katherine Mangu-Ward discussed the Fair Housing Act here.