Military Status

 

FAIR HOUSING & MILITARY STATUS

When searching for housing, many veterans find themselves without recourse as landlords refuse to accept payments from the VA as legitimate income, and both active military members serving locally as well as reservists find landlords denying them housing because of concerns that they’ll be called up for overseas service. Other disabled veterans find landlords refusing housing to them because of service animals or other issues related to their conditions and needs.
 

UNDER NEW YORK STATE LAW, MILITARY STATUS IS A PROTECTED CLASS THAT INCLUDES:  

  • Any individual who served in any branch of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, fulfilled his or her service obligations and received an honorable discharge or a discharge for medical reasons with an honorable record

  • Any individual who is currently an active or reserve member in any branch of the Armed Forces

WHAT DOES DISCRIMINATION LOOK LIKE BASED ON ONE VETERAN/MILITARY STATUS:

  • A housing provider negatively considering a veteran or military status when making housing-related decisions

  • Charging higher rents for service members than for the civilian population

  • Prioritizing applicants on a waiting list based on veteran status  

  • Rejecting a potential tenant because they use a HUD-VASH voucher to help pay rent

  • A service member or reservist being denied a rental based on the assumption that he or she would be called to active duty before the terms of the lease are completed

  • Steering or persuading  a service member to buy a home in a certain area simply because of its proximity to a military base or other military families

  • Discriminating against a Veteran with a physical or mental disability in need of reasonable accommodations or modifications

 

WHAT IS THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (SCRA)?

SCRA is a federal law enacted in 2003 to lawfully protect servicemembers (and dependents) who must break their lease to continue to serve. More specifically, SCRA is intended to help relieve the stress associated with civil obligations for all active duty service members, reservists, and National Guard members while on active duty.  You may also terminate leases entered into while in military service if you receive orders to deploy for a period of at least 90 days or orders for a permanent change of station (PCS).
 
In order to legally break your lease, you can’t simply show your orders and move out when you choose. Termination becomes effective on the last day of the month following the month in which proper notice is delivered.

 

If you believe you have been the victim of housing discrimination because of your military status, please contact us for assistance.

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RESOURCES

 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) RESOURCES

NYS AND OTHER RESOURCES