Fair Housing Law

What is Fair Housing?

Fair Housing is the right to choose housing free from unlawful discrimination. Federal, state and local Fair Housing laws protect people from discrimination in housing transactions such as
rentals, sales, lending and insurance. It is illegal to discriminate in housing transactions
against “protected classes” of people. Protected classes covered by fair housing laws include:

United States:

  • Race

  • Color

  • National Origin

  • Religion

  • Sex (Gender)

  • Familial Status

  • Disability

New York State:​​

  • Gender Identity & Expression

  • Source of Income

  • Age

  • Marital Status

  • Military Status

It Is illegal to:

Discriminate in terms, conditions, privileges or services, such as steering people to certain neighborhoods or apartment complexes based on
their race or charging higher fees or security deposits.


Refuse to rent, sell, or negotiate.

Make, print or publish discriminatory statements or advertisements, such as ads which state: “no children,” “adults preferred,” “mature couples only” or oral statements like “We don’t want children on the second floor.”

Make false representations about the availability of dwellings.

Interfere, coerce, or intimidate: Against or in retaliation of those exercising a fair housing right or those aiding others in exercising their fair housing rights or against a protected class of residents, visitors or associates.

Discriminate when providing financing, such as charging more points, higher interest rates, offering different terms or steering to a particular loan product
based on a person’s protected class like race or gender.

Discriminate in the provision of homeowner’s insurance, such as applying different terms and conditions based on the applicant’s membership in a protected class or because the home for which the insurance is sought is in a racially or ethnically diverse neighborhood (redlining).

Refuse to make a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability or modification to a dwelling or common area if necessary for a person with a disability to have full use of the housing.

Build new multi-family housing that fails to
meet design and construction requirements.