ADL Hails Florida Action Against Biased Land Developers

Land developers who discriminate in their sales practice or advertising will face stiff penalties as the result of new regulations passed by the Florida Division of Land Sales, It was announced today by the Florida office of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League. The ADL several months ago had urged the Division of Land Sales to apply its authority against land sales companies found to be discriminating against persons because of their religion, race or national origin.

Burton Young, chairman of ADL’s executive committee, said the League is “very pleased by this forthright action by the Division of Land Sales” which licenses land developers and reviews their advertising and sales practices. Young said the ADL had received numerous complaints during the past six months which pointed to discriminatory practices by some land developers against potential purchasers who are Jewish. He said in one case ADL had filed a complaint with the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, charging a developer with violating provisions of the 1968 Civil Rights Act by advertising residential property for sale “for Christian people.” Young said the firm agreed to cease such discriminatory advertising.

Arthur Teitelbaum, ADL’s regional director, said the League’s office continues to receive complaints about developers who use “code language” in their advertising, such as “highly restricted” or “churches nearby.” Teitelbaum said “it is a technique which dates back many years and is frequently used to discourage Jews and others from making inquiries.” He said these complaints are just part of a larger picture of housing discrimination against Jews and other minorities, “which remain a serious problem throughout Florida.”

The new regulation prohibits firms under the Division of Land Sales’ Jurisdiction from refusing to sell a person subdivided land because of his religion, race, color or national origin. It also prohibits the advertising of such property in a manner which “…indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on religion, race, color or national origin, or any intention to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination.”

NEXT STORY