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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Proposed rule relating to required posting of Seattle Open Housing Poster

11/15/2006  9:00:00 AM
Roberto Bonaccorso  (206) 684-5282

Proposed rule relating to required posting of Seattle Open Housing Poster

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights has proposed the following rule relating to required posting of Seattle open housing signs. The requirement to display a Seattle Fair Housing Poster as set forth in this rule shall become effective on January 31, 2007.

The Public has until December 15, 2006 to comment on this proposed rule. Please address comments in writing to:

Germaine W. Covington, Director
Seattle Office for Civil Rights
700 Third Ave., Suite 250
Seattle, WA 98104-1849

The proposed rule reads as follows:

Compliance with the requirement to display Open Housing Posters

  • The Seattle Open Housing Poster, hereinafter referred to as the Fair Housing Poster, will provide a notice that it is illegal in the City of Seattle to discriminate against any person because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, participation in a Section 8 Program, the presence of any disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person.
  • All Fair Housing Posters must be prominently displayed so as to be readily apparent to all persons seeking housing accommodations or seeking to engage in residential real estate-related transactions or brokerage services, as contemplated by SMC 14.08.
  • Persons required to display the Seattle Open Housing Poster by SMC 14.08.015 may obtain the Fair Housing Poster from the SOCR business office. The poster is also available for download from the SOCR website at

Enforcement of requirement to display Fair Housing Posters

  • Any person who observes a failure to display the Fair Housing Poster by a person required to do so under SMC 14.08.015 may file a complaint with SOCR pursuant to SHRR 40-105. The complaint may be done by telephone or in writing. The complaint must include the name and contact information of the complainant, the address of the property involved and the date on which the failure to display was observed. Upon receipt of a complaint alleging failure to display the Fair Housing Poster, SOCR will conduct an on-site investigation to confirm the complaint.
  • SOCR will confirm the display of a Fair Housing Poster whenever it conducts investigations of alleged violations of the Seattle Open Housing Ordinance, SMC 14.08.
  • SOCR may also conduct fair housing audits as part of the enforcement of SMC 14.08 or for informational purposes. Those audits may include confirmation of display of the Fair Housing Poster.

Effect of failure to display Fair Housing Poster

  • Upon confirmation of a violation of SMC 14.08.015, SOCR will send a written Notice of Violation to the person(s) required by that section to display the poster. The notification of the first violation will include a requirement for the payment of a fine of $125.00 within twenty days by check or money order made payable to the City of Seattle. The notification will also contain notice that each subsequent violation will result in a fine of $500.00.
  • Upon receipt of the Notice of Violation, the person subject to the Fair Housing Poster requirement must immediately obtain and display the Fair Housing Poster and send the payment of the fine to SOCR at the address that will be contained in the notice.
  • SOCR will confirm compliance with the posting requirement within 45 days of issuing the Notice of Violation.

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