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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             
April 27, 2012


New Anti-Discrimination City Website Explains Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants, Homeowners, Landlords, and Building Owners, Marking Anniversaries of Federal and City Fair Housing Laws

NYC Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Patricia L. Gatling and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua today launched Fair Housing NYC, a new City website explaining the rights and responsibilities of tenants, homeowners, landlords, and building owners.  The new site,, will serve as a central location for information on discrimination and fair housing opportunities under the auspices of the two agencies charged with providing and protecting fair housing in the City of New York, the Commission and HPD.

Fair Housing NYC is a joint effort that supports the Commission’s and HPD’s current anti-discrimination efforts and comes during Fair Housing Month, marking the anniversaries of both Federal and City Fair Housing Laws. The new site will enable viewers to readily access the fair housing information they need and encourage them to report discrimination.

“Fair Housing means that New Yorkers have the right to live wherever they choose and be treated the same as everyone else and Fair Housing NYC will inform individuals of those rights,” said NYC Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Patricia L. Gatling.  “Our aim is make this information easily accessible to a wide range of individuals and raise their consciousness about fair housing and this City’s strict anti-discrimination law.  We are particularly grateful to NYC Information Technology and Telecommunications for all their work in constructing this new website and making today’s launching possible.”

“Our homes are more than a place to hang our hats, they are our sanctuaries, and access to an affordable, safe apartment can be the foundation of stability for hardworking New York families,” said HPD. Commissioner Mathew A Wambua.  “Whether applying for housing or seeking services from a landlord or property owner, everybody is entitled to be treated fairly and equitably.  Fair Housing NYC offers a one-stop shop where tenants can educate themselves about their rights and resources, and landlords can find information about their responsibilities under the law.  Our City’s fair housing laws are some of the strongest in the nation – arming yourself with information is the first step to ensuring those rights are protected.”

Fair Housing NYC  provides information on the protected classes under the City Human Rights Law, who can be held liable for housing discrimination, filing a housing discrimination complaint, affordable housing opportunities, the difference between fair housing rights and tenants rights, going to housing court, and placing real estate ads.  It also provides resource information, multi-lingual downloadable materials, and notice of upcoming fair housing events open to the public. 

New York City became the first city in the nation to make it illegal to deny an individual private housing based on their race with the passage of the Sharkey-Brown-Isaacs Act in 1958, 10 years before federal anti-discrimination housing laws were enacted.  The Sharkey-Brown-Isaacs Act outlawed racial discrimination in privately owned multiple dwellings and housing developments and also established complaint and mediation procedures. 

The federal Fair Housing Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, giving the federal government meaningful enforcement powers, and leading to April as Fair Housing Month.


About the New York City Commission on Human Rights
The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation. The Law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and partnership status. In addition, the Law affords protection against discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction record and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses. In housing, the Law affords additional protections based on lawful occupation, family status, and any lawful source of income. The City Human Rights Law also prohibits retaliation and bias-related harassment, including cyberbullying. For more information on the Commission’s programs and services, please visit or dial 311.

About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 129,600 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit


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Eric Bederman / / 212.863.5176
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