Know Your Rights Under The Fair Housing Act


The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, disability or family status. April is National Fair Housing Month when organizations and local, state and federal agencies host events across the country to raise awareness about the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted just weeks after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
Under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for anyone to take any of the following actions in the sale and rental of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, disability, or source of income:
Refuse to rent or sell housing; refuse to negotiate for housing; make housing unavailable; deny a dwelling; falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental; set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling; provide different housing services or facilities for profit, persuade owners to sell or rent; deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.
All housing providers and real estate professionals are required not to discriminate. These include owners, landlords; managing agents or companies; co-op boards and condominium associations; tenants seeking to sublet; real estate brokers and salespersons; and, any employee or agent of the above.
It is legal to ask about income, but it is illegal to discriminate based on lawful sources of income. Housing providers may ask about income and about the source of income and require documentation in order to determine a person’s ability to pay for the housing accommodation, but must accept all lawful sources of income equally.
“The Village of Manorhaven prides itself on offering relatively affordable rental housing and homes for purchase and we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena said. “Manorhaven is also a very walkable community with convenient bus transportation and virtually limitless transit connections.”
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, file a complaint with: Nassau County (, New York State (, and/or the Housing and Urban Development (
For help with foreclosure prevention, housing discrimination complaints and other fair housing issues, you may also contact the Nassau County Bar Association ( or Long Island Housing Services (
Complaints, concerns or comments by the disabled should be directed to the Nassau County Office of the Physically Challenged, Nassau County Human Rights Commission, and Long Island Housing Services. Visit or for more information.
—Submitted by the Village of Manorhaven


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