Message from the Commissioners


NYC became a national leader in fair housing protections and equal opportunity in housing when the City Council passed the Sharkey-Brown-Issacs Act in 1958. With that law, New York became the first city in the country to make it illegal to deny someone private housing based upon race. The Act outlawed racial discrimination in privately owned multiple dwellings and housing developments. The Act also established complaint investigation and mediation procedures similar to those we use in the city today. 

Over the years, these protections have become stronger under the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. But New York City continues to lead with protections against discrimination in housing that are broader than federal law in areas like disability, marital status, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, lawful occupation (including military service), individuals under the age of 40, gender identity, and lawful source of income (including public assistance programs like Section 8). 

The NYC Commission on Human Rights and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development created this website for tenants, homeowners, landlords, and building owners to explain fair housing rights and how to use them. On this site you will find information about legal protections under the NYC Human Rights Law, filing complaints if you believe you are a victim of discrimination, legal advertising for housing vacancies, finding a place to live, housing court, and other resourceful government and community agencies.

It can be difficult finding just the right place to live in the City; but discrimination should not ever be the reason. Together we are committed to providing fair housing opportunities in New York City.

Patricia L. Gatling, Commissioner
Patricia L. Gatling, Commissioner
NYC Commission on Human Rights
Mathew M. Wambua, Commissioner
Mathew M. Wambua, Commissioner
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

A website of the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Helpful Resources