High Density Housing

Fair Housing in the United States

Discrimination against tenants can take many forms, with landlords and brokers discriminating based on a tenant’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, family makeup, criminal background—the list goes on.

One particularly heinous form of discrimination is against those who use housing vouchers to pay a portion of their rent. These tenants are low-income and are overwhelmingly people of color, families with children, people with disabilities, and elderly. A number of localities across the country have made it illegal to discriminate against those with vouchers (also called source of income protections).
 
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After hearing from community partners on the ground, Housing Rights Initiative has begun to investigate this type of discrimination amongst brokers and landlords, and educate the public about it. In March 2021, HRI announced a lawsuit against 88 real estate companies in New York City for discriminating against tenants with vouchers.

We are continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. We are also working with community partners across the country to determine the pervasiveness of source of income discrimination in other localities.
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New York

In April 2019, the New York State Human Right Law was amended to include discrimination protections for lawful source of income. In New York State, 229,100 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.

 

In March 2021, HRI announced a lawsuit against 88 real estate companies in New York City for discriminating against tenants with housing vouchers. In April 2021, HRI announced an investigation into this type of discrimination in Westchester.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New York State. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in New York, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact info@housingrightsus.org.

 
New Jersey

In 2002, New Jersey amended their Law Against Discrimination to include source of income as a protected class. In New Jersey, 72,500 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New Jersey. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in New Jersey, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact NJ@housingrightsus.org.

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Virginia

In 2020, Virginia amended their Fair Housing Law to include source of income as a protected class. In Virginia, 47,100 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in Virginia. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in Virginia, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact VA@housingrightsus.org.

 
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If you have been discriminated against while seeking housing

Please email discrimination@housingrightsUS.org or fill out the contact form below:

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