Rights and Responsibilities

The NYC Commission on Human Rights is a chartered City agency that enforces the NYC Human Rights Law. The Law prohibits discrimination in housing based on our actual or perceived age, race, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, family status, marital status, partnership status, lawful source of income, and lawful occupation. The Law also prohibits retaliation.

Who Is Protected

You are covered under the Law if you reside in privately-owned housing, public or government-subsidized housing, cooperatives and condominiums, residential hotels, and two-family owner-occupied housing through public notice.

The Law exempts rooms in an owner-occupied dwelling, such as in a person's apartment or rooming house. It also permits housing limited to the elderly or disabled under certain government restrictions, as well as gender-specific dormitory-type residences.

The Law outlines the unlawful practices based on the membership in a protected class.

Unlawful Practices

  • Refusing to sell, rent, or lease housing
  • Misrepresenting the availability of housing
  • Setting different terms, conditions, or privileges for the sale, rental, or lease of housing
  • Providing different housing services or facilities
  • Posting discriminatory advertising or marketing that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on a protected class
  • Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability
  • Steering a potential homebuyer or renter to, or away from, an area
  • Pressuring, for profit, homeowners to sell by exploiting demographic changes (blockbusting)
  • Threatening, coercing, or intimidating individuals because they exercise their fair housing rights or assist others in doing so
  • Refusing to make a mortgage loan to a qualified applicant
  • Refusing to provide information regarding loans
  • Imposing different terms or conditions on a loan or credit card
  • Discriminating in appraising properties
  • Denying conventional mortgages in certain communities (redlining)