The Fair Housing Act Was Enacted in April 1968
Congress passed the Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968, making it illegal to deny housing to people based on their race, skin color, religion, or country of origin. It essentially prohibited discrimination in the housing market and provided marginalized groups with equal opportunity to rent or purchase homes.
Upon signing the Act into law one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “At long last, fair housing for all is now a part of the American way of life.”
Housing discrimination based on gender was added to the Fair Housing Act in 1974, and discrimination against those with disabilities or with children under the age of 18 was included in 1988.
April is Fair Housing Month and, in recognition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – which administers and enforces the Fair Housing Act – launched the “Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing Is Illegal” campaign. Persons who believe they may have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at 800-669-9777 (voice) or 800-927-9275 (TTY).
NYCHA is committed to complying with the Fair Housing Act. The Authority’s Department of Equal Opportunity (DEO) is responsible for making sure that all residents and applicants are given an equal opportunity to benefit from NYCHA’s housing programs, services, and activities. DEO investigates allegations of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, family status, disability, and more.
Celeste Thomas Segure, NYCHA’s Director of Equal Opportunity, noted:
“The significance of the Fair Housing Act cannot be overstated; the community in which a family resides significantly determines the quality of access they will have to education, employment, health care, credit, food, and recreation services. Housing location also determines the overall safety and stability of the environment in which they live. For 83 years, the New York City Housing Authority been a quintessential part of New York City by providing decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New York families. Consistent with the principles of fair housing, it has been the mission of the Department of Equal Opportunity to foster agency-wide equal opportunity, inclusiveness, and nondiscrimination to persons who live or work at NYCHA, who receive NYCHA services, or who are paid by NYCHA contractors. We do this for all the New Yorkers who call NYCHA home without regard to their race, color, gender/sex, religion, national origin, disability, or any classification protected from discrimination under the law.”
Read NYCHA’s fair housing policy below to learn more:
NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY FAIR HOUSING NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
It is the policy of the New York City Housing Authority to provide equal housing opportunities for all qualified residents and applicants. In the selection of families and in the provision of NYCHA programs, services or activities, there shall be no discrimination against any person on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, familial status, marital status, partnership status, lawful occupation, lawful source of income, military status, alienage or citizenship status, or on the grounds that a person is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.
This policy also prohibits retaliation. This policy is in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws.
NYCHA will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified residents and applicants with disabilities so they can participate equally in NYCHA programs, services, or activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, or other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.
NYCHA will make reasonable modifications to its policies and programs to afford qualified residents and applicants with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its programs, services, or activities.
Persons who require an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a NYCHA program, service, or activity may contact NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771, or the Department of Equal Opportunity, Services for People With Disabilities Unit, 250 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10007, telephone number, 212-306-4468, TTY 212-306-4845 from 8:30AM to 5:00PM Monday through Friday.
Any resident or applicant who wishes to report housing discrimination or retaliation MAY FILE A DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT (NYCHA 036.024) by contacting the Department of Equal Opportunity from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday at:
New York City Housing Authority Department of Equal Opportunity
250 Broadway, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10007
Telephone (212) 306-4468
Fax: (212) 306-4439
TTY: (212) 306-4845
Any resident or applicant may also contact any of the following federal, state or city human rights agencies listed below to report housing discrimination or retaliation:
New York State Division of Human Rights
One Fordham Plaza 4th Floor
Bronx, New York 10458
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT
New York Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
26 Federal Plaza, Room 3541
New York, NY 10278
(212) 264-8000 TTY
New York City Commission on Human Rights
22 Reade Street,1st Floor
New York, NY 10006
(718) 722-3131 • 311 (in NYC)
(Voice and TTY)
Copies of this policy are available in accessible format to Persons with Disabilities upon request.