Discrimination in housing is against the law.
A person has the right to live in the home of his or her choice and that he or she can afford.
The Fair Housing Law states that individuals cannot be denied housing (sale, lease or rental) on the basis of:
- National Origin
- Source of Income
- Marriage Status
- Being a family with children under 18 years of age
- Sexual Orientation
- Citizenship or alienage status
- Victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking
The Fair Housing Laws and Fair Lending Laws make it illegal for any persons involved in your housing search to discriminate against you. This includes advertisers, appraisers, bankers and home inspectors. They are all required to give equal treatment to all homeseekers. The law also prohibits real estate offices, their brokers and agents from discriminating. They must treat all customers equally. Co-ops and condominiums have the same responsibility to the buyers and sellers not to discriminate.
You may contact The Westchester County Human Rights Commission at (914) 995-7710 or go to 112 E. Post Rd., 3rd Fl., White Plains, NY, about housing discrimination.
The best resource is to visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Web site. You may read the federal Fair Housing Law and access the guidebook, "FAIR HOUSING: Equal Opportunity for All." Westchester Residential Opportunities (WRO) explains housing discrimination issues in an easy-to-read format. WRO offers housing counselors, who can answer questions about discrimination and other housing issues.
Read the rules and regulation for Fair Housing.
You may be entitled to file a complaint with the Westchester Human Rights Commission if you feel you have been descrimated.
Before filing a formal complaint, you can contact one of the other local housing advocacy organizations listed below to discuss your concerns and experiences.
These organizations can sometimes speak and mediate on your behalf to avoid a potential dispute. These groups have had years of experience in the housing market and may know the landlord or rental agent you are dealing with. They can guide you through the complaint process and help you file your complaint. You may also contact the commission for assistance and advice without the matter becoming a formal complaint and proceeding. The commission welcomes the opportunity to provide education and assistance in the prevention of housing disputes.
Westchester Residential Opportunities – WRO
470 Mamaroneck Ave. – Ste. 410
White Plains, NY 10605
Discrimination Hot Line Tel: ( 914) 428-4512
General Phone Number: (914) 428-4507
Westchester Mediation Center of CLUSTER
20 South Broadway – Ste. 307
Yonkers, NY 10701
Tel: (914) 963-6500
Hudson Valley Legal Services
4 Cromwell Place
White Plains, NY 10601
Tel: (914) 949-1305 or (877) 574-8529
What if I have to file a complaint? What is the process?
If a formal complaint is necessary, a number of steps will take place. Your complaint will be reviewed and investigated. Communications with the source of your complaint will be held in order to address your concerns and to insure a fair and equitable process. A mediation conference may be held in order to avoid any further legal proceedings. However, if the mediation is unsuccessful the matter may be forwarded for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.