Facebook allows advertisers to target or exclude certain demographic groups within Michigan and nationwide. When applied to housing ads, this practice can amount to discrimination according to a lawsuit against the social media company from the National Fair Housing Alliance and three other advocacy groups. The secretary of the Housing and Urban Development has also expressed concern about the apparently discriminatory practices enabled by Facebook that prevent people from viewing ads for available housing.
Facebook users in Michigan and throughout the country are supposed to have equal access to see housing ads on the site. However, a lawsuit claims that it is still possible to exclude individuals based on gender or if they have kids. It also claims that it is possible for ads to not be shown to individuals based on their national origin or because they are disabled.
Michigan residents may be aware that it is illegal to discriminate when renting or selling property. On Nov. 28, the Justice Department announced that it was suing the city of Springfield, Illinois, for violating the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit alleges that the city discriminated against people with disabilities in the way it treated group homes for those who are disabled. Specifically, the city allegedly tried to close a home that had three disabled residents.
People living in Michigan co-ops generally appreciate living in a well-managed building. They expect to be able to live and conduct their lives free of harassment, fear and intimidation. Some managers or employees of the property, however, may engage in sexual harassment against residents. Such harassment is illegal, and tenants have a right to protection against it.
Political tensions in the country have led to an increase in accusations of racial discrimination. In this atmosphere, Michigan authorities that manage public housing have a greater chance of receiving complaints from residents or potential renters who feel mistreated because of their race, sex, religion, disability status or national origin.
When Michigan residents go to buy or rent a home, apartment, co-op or townhouse, they may be covered under the Fair Housing Act. It states that most landlords and homeowners cannot discriminate based on factors such as race, national origin or familial status. Familial status means that a landlord or property owner generally cannot refuse to deal with someone who is pregnant or has children under the age of 18.