Its not a surprise that New York City housing complaints have been on the rise. This is especially true for low-income tenants who receive a government subsidy to use for rent. Even though the City Council voted to prohibit discrimination in housing based on the tenant’s source of income, complaints to the New York City Human Right Commission increased by 45%.
To learn more on what you can do if you are experiencing housing discrimination, visit www.LawHelpNY.org. Click on the Housing topic on the Home Page and select the Housing Discrimination subtopic. To learn more about housing discrimination in NYC, check out this summary of Human Rights Law. New York State also prohibits housing discrimination and the New York State Division of Human Rights has a Fair Housing Guide that explains who is protected by law, and who has to follow the law, click here to read the guide. The Federal Government has a resource that summarizes all the laws that prohibit discrimination in housing, click here.
Do not hesitate to file a complaint if you are the victim of housing discrimination. Landlords can be fined as much as $250,000, for example, if the NYC Human Rights Commission finds that the laws against housing discrimination have been violated. You do not need a lawyer to file a complaint. And you can file at the NYC, NY State or Federal level. Easily downloadable complaint forms are available from LawHelp/NY in the section called “How To file A Complaint.”