Housing Discrimination

For much of the twentieth century, discrimination by private real estate agents and rental property owners helped establish and sustain stark patterns of housing and neighborhood inequality.

Although the most blatant forms of overt housing discrimination have declined, the forms of discrimination that persist raise the costs of housing search for minorities and restrict their housing options. If you think you have been a victim of discrimination we are here to help.


Federal, state, and local fair housing laws work to ensure that all individuals have equal housing opportunities. The federal Fair Housing Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and various local laws, such as the New York City Human Rights Law, prohibit discrimination by housing providers (including owners, real estate agents, managing agents, building superintendents, cooperative and condominium boards) and lenders (including banks and mortgage companies).
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, familial status (presence of children under age 18), color, national origin, religion, disability (physical or mental), or sex.

The New York State Human Rights Law protects all of the same characteristics as the federal Fair Housing Act but also makes it illegal to discriminate based on creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status.

Some local governments afford their residents additional protections. For example, the New York City Human Rights Law prohibits housing discrimination based on: gender, citizenship status, partnership status, gender identity, lawful occupation, and lawful source of income (including public assistance or housing assistance, social security, supplemental security income, pensions, annuities, or unemployment benefits).


Communities around the world are standing up and saying ‘NO’ to discrimination. Greater awareness and sensitivity around the notion of equality is having a huge impact in the housing sector, but in many cases a lot more work needs to be done as blatant violations still occur everyday.

According to the Fair Housing Alliance 2018 Annual Report, a huge 87.4% of housing discrimination acts reported in 2017 occurred during rental transactions. If you think you have been a victim of discrimination please contact us.