Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

State's Fair Housing Awareness Campaign Omits Own Fair Housing Law

The New York State Division of Human Rights has been running a statewide ad campaign to promote public awareness of housing discrimination laws. (I spotted them for the first time back in November.) Each ad focuses on a different protected class under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and then lists them all, stating: "Housing discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is unlawful."

However, as Gay City News pointed out last week, the ads don't tell the whole story. Missing from the ads is a list of the additional protected classes included under New York's housing discrimination law, which include sexual orientation, age, and military status, among others. Apparently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in giving New York $500,000 in funding for the ad campaign, required that the ads list the FHA's protected classes but didn't limit it to just that. However, a HUD official reportedly pointed out that New York's omission of the state information is consistent with how other states have spent federal dollars.

In light of these developments, New York is planning to spend the remaining $12,000 it has in federal funds for ads aimed at the lesbian and gay community that promote the fact that New York also bars housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to Gay City News.

Should New York have promoted awareness of its own housing discrimination law along with the federal law?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Yelena said...

Isn't the title GAY CITY NEWS discriminatory if you're going to use the same logic since the title may discourage me (a straight female) from browsing?

I think donating this 12,000 to after-school programs would have been a better use of the money!