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Christians working together to build a welcoming community

Wannaplan?

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This is interesting. There's a big housing development planned near the neighborhood where I live. There is a website and it proclaims on the homepage:

Christians working together to build a welcoming and caring community that proclaims the love of Christ to all people of our Region and beyond.

I am wondering about how this would work. The development is right next to a popular local christian church. The church is an investor in the development. But what about the Fair Housing Act? No lots have yet been sold - they still need plat approval. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of religion. Can they do that? Maybe I am getting ahead of things. May need to see if lots are sold to any Tom-Dick-or-Henrietta first, or if sales have been exclusive to church members. Anyone else experience such religious influence in a housing development?
 
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luckless pedestrian

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omg no - that is frightening - it likely will put off the non-God-fearing folk though so even if they don't ask the question when showing the house, people that are non-proclaiming may not even shop for a house there after reading the slogan - but it would be good to have the ACLU take a looksie just the same as well as FHA

moves to further segregate like-minded people is ruinous to our society imho
 
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Doohickie

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It depends. Do they intend to build a Christian-only compound, or are they trying to provide a safe, affordable neighborhood for people regardless of their faith? I mean Habitat for Humanity goes into blighted neighborhoods and builds homes for disadvantaged people. It is at its heart a Christian organization but embraces people of all faiths (or none at all) in terms of people they build homes for and people who volunteer to build those homes (one of the best Habitat meals I ever had was a Halal meal prepared by a Muslim volunteer group). If this group is operating under a similar mantra, would it be so bad?

I guess I'd want to further explore the group to see what their intent is.
 

DVD

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Marketing is one thing, sales is another. As long as they don't ask about a persons religion at the showing or sale of the property they should be fine. I would think the church as an investor could offer a discount to members, but I'm not sure on that. Still scary when a bunch of "Christians" get together. That was meant for the praise of god, not the segregating of society.
 
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Dan

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Marketing is one thing, sales is another. As long as they don't ask about a persons religion at the showing or sale of the property they should be fine.
Even then, I think it might be a problem. Fair housing laws in the United States prohibit any kind of marketing that implies favoritism towards or exclusion of those of a certain religion or denomination This includes advertising that says "near churches", or using Roman Catholic parishes to identify general location -- a once-common practice in my hometown. Advertising restrictions in fair housing laws also apply to Mrs. Murphy situations.

From the National Fair Housing Alliance:
When advertising housing, it is illegal to specify a preference or limitation or to alter the terms and conditions of housing based on someone’s membership in any of the protected classes. It is also illegal to target the distribution of advertisements on the basis of any protected characteristic. ...

While there have been clear, legal housing protections for the last 50 years, discriminatory advertisements that violate the FHAct persist. Examples include statements such as “no kids,” “Christian housing,” and “English speakers only,” all of which could be considered unlawful forms of advertising.
From the MetroTex Association of Realtors:
Advertisements should not contain an explicit reference to religion. Advertisements containing the name of an entity with a religious reference (i.e., St. Mary’s Catholic Home), or those which contain a religious symbol standing alone, may indicate a religious preference. In these cases, it’s acceptable if a disclaimer is included (such as “This home does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status”).
 

Maister

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Christians working together to build a welcoming and caring community that proclaims the love of Christ to all people of our Region and beyond.
It says that in their marketing literature? That sounds like a pretty flagrant violation of the Fair Housing Act . There's a large enough body of case law out there concerning this type of marketing that this wouldn't even be considered a 'grey' situation.
 

DVD

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I sit corrected. We don't do a lot of fair housing law stuff out here. It's just not as much of an issue for some reason. Still out there, just maybe not as visible.
 

Doohickie

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It says that in their marketing literature? That sounds like a pretty flagrant violation of the Fair Housing Act . There's a large enough body of case law out there concerning this type of marketing that this wouldn't even be considered a 'grey' situation.
I don't know.... "welcoming", "caring", "to all people of our Religion and beyond". Evangelical/Conservative Christianity has a pretty bad name at the moment. If this were a Jewish or Buddhist group making the same claim, would you take it the same way? I think it's similar to the reputation of a pit bull: Because some are dangerous people tend to treat them like they all are. Because some Christians are theocratical bigots, people tend to them like they all are.
 
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Maister

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I don't know.... "welcoming", "caring", "to all people of our Religion and beyond". Evangelical/Conservative Christianity has a pretty bad name at the moment. If this were a Jewish or Buddhist group making the same claim, would you take it the same way? I think it's similar to the reputation of a pit bull: Because some are dangerous people tend to treat them like they all are. Because some Christians are theocratical bigots, people tend to them like they all are.
Forget religion for a moment, what if the sign said "White people working together to build a welcoming and caring community that proclaims the love of caucasians to all people of our Race and beyond."
"welcoming", "caring", "to all people of our [blank] and beyond" are still in the message. In this context it's perhaps more obvious that's a flagrant FHAct violation.
 

luckless pedestrian

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Yeah I am all itchy about this - and yeah I would be if it were Buddhists as I have friends who went into Buddhist temples for the 4 years of silence and left abruptly because of shenanigans

Anytime there is a vulnerability, there will always be someone ready to run with it
 
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