LAWFUL SOURCE OF INCOME
In March 2008, the Administrative Code of the City of New York was amended making "lawful source of income" a protected class (Local Law 10/2008) under the City’s Human Rights Law.
In general, the law prohibits the owners of buildings in New York City with six or more apartments from refusing to rent or otherwise dispose of property to any person due to their lawful source of income. The amendment defines "lawful source of income" as income derived from social security or any form of federal, state or local public assistance or housing assistance, including section 8 vouchers.
Two examples where the six or more units requirement does not apply include, rent controlled apartments where the tenant resided in the apartment when the law took effect (March 2008), and where the owner owns another building in the city that has six or more units. Under these circumstances, regardless of the number of units in the building in question, the housing provider would be required to accept the subsidy.
The Commission interprets this amendment to apply to new, as well as existing tenants.
The amendment also prohibits the printing of advertisements that are discriminatory in nature; therefore, on-line or newspaper ads and billboards that state "No Programs" are discriminatory and create a separate cause of action under the law.
For additional information - you may access the new amendment page on this website. Also, you can call the City’s 311 Call Center or call the Commission directly at 212.306.7450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., to speak with a member of our staff.