Housing discrimination is illegal. The Westchester County Fair Housing Law and the Federal Fair Housing Act prohibit disability discrimination in housing. Housing discrimination against people with disabilities is reported as the leading basis for complaints filed nationwide.

Sometimes people with disabilities need reasonable accommodations or modifications to alleviate the symptoms of their disabilities and/or to fully use and enjoy their home. Individuals with a disability can request a reasonable accommodation or modification for their home which their housing provider may have to make or approve.

Reasonable accommodations are changes, exceptions, or adjustments to rules, policies, practices, or services that may be necessary to alleviate the symptoms of a person’s disabilities or in order for that person to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their home and its facilities. Reassigning a parking space or allowing a person to keep an assistance animal can be reasonable accommodations under the correct circumstances.

Reasonable modifications are physical changes to structures made so that a person with a disability can fully access their home and facilities, or to alleviate the symptoms of their disability. Occupants are generally responsible for the cost of any modifications inside their units, whereas housing providers or housing communities are responsible for the cost of modifications to common area spaces. Examples include building a ramp or allowing a tenant with a hearing-impairment to install strobe lights in their unit.

If the request is unreasonable, the housing provider must engage in an interactive process to try to find a mutually agreeable accommodation or modification.

Remember Assistance Animals Are Not Pets
Assistance Animals such as seeing eye dogs and emotional support animals work to provide assistance or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability and/or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more symptoms of a person’s disability.

  • A housing provider may not require an extra security deposit or other terms that apply to residents with pets.
  • Pet restrictions cannot be used to deny or limit housing to people with disabilities who require the use of an assistance animal.
  • A housing provider cannot ask about the nature of a person’s disability. The housing provider is entitled to understand that the current or future tenant has a disability, and there is the need for a reasonable accommodation because of that disability, but they are not entitled to request any additional information.

Only a fraction of the reported millions of instances of housing discrimination that occur each year are reported. If you believe that you experienced disability discrimination or another form of housing discrimination, contact the Commission by phone at (914) 995-9500, by email at  or through our housing discrimination complaint form.

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