A report released this week by the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) finds that hundreds of advertisements for rental units in New York City discriminate against households with housing subsidies or government assistance. The ads were posted despite an amendment to the City of New York Human Rights Law that passed in March prohibiting landlords from discriminating against renters with a “lawful source of income.”
FHJC searched rental advertisements posted on www.craigslist.org in July for phrases such as “no programs” and “no Section 8” to determine the frequency of source of income discrimination and found that 363 such ads representing 413 units were posted by real estate brokers over the course of the month. On a single day in July, there were 1,543 ads that discriminated against renters who rely on government-provided income or housing assistance. In the same 24-hour period, more than 200 new discriminatory ads were posted, 17% of which were posted by real estate brokers. The vast majority of units illegally advertised as off-limits would have been affordable to households with vouchers or other forms of rental assistance.
FHJC makes six recommendations for enforcing this relatively new law, including ramped up fair housing testing, more robust fair housing training for licensed real estate brokers, and disciplinary action for those who continue to break the law.
No License to Discriminate: Real Estate Advertising, Source of Income Discrimination, and Homelessness in New York City is available online at www.helpusa.org/site/DocServer/License_to_Discriminate_finalDRAFT.pdf?docID=2141.