[Hpn] NH Newspapers Pull Housing Ads

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:45:55 -0400


Wednesday June 29, 2005

N.H. newspapers pull housing ads

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - Six newspapers in New Hampshire have agreed to stop running
real estate ads that suggest children aren't welcome at the properties
following complaints that the ads violated federal law.

Several dozens landlords and real estate agents also agreed to stop placing
ads targeting adult tenants and to submit future ads to the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development for review.

Federal law prohibits landlords from discriminating against children.

The ads included promotions like "one mature person," "quiet adult location"
and "great for a single person." They are discriminatory because they make
it harder for families to rent out the locations, said Christine Lavallee of
New Hampshire Legal Assistance. She said the problem of families that have
trouble renting is widespread.

"It's a longstanding issue in New Hampshire," said Amy Lockwood, executive
director of Concord Area Trust for Community Housing. "From time to time,
I've seen plenty of newspaper ads that say, 'No kids, no pets.' "

The landlords who were cited have agreed to pay up to $100 to a homeless
shelter and the newspapers are required to attend a training session for
classified advertising managers.

The six newspapers include the Portsmouth Herald, the Weirs Times, the
Conway Daily Sun, Foster's Daily Democrat, the Claremont Eagle-Times and
papers with the Salmon Press.

Conway Daily Sun publisher Mark Guerringue said he had no idea his paper had
violated the regulations and wishes he had been contacted directly so the
paper could correct the ads.

Sandra Titus, the classified advertising manager for the Portsmouth Herald,
said her newspaper never published anything explicitly saying no families
were allowed.

"When you have a landlord with a one-bedroom apartment and you want to say
'one-person,' it makes sense but it's not allowed," she said.