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Discrimination is the unequal treatment of a group based on specific categorizations.  The New York City's Human Rights Law protects individuals from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability etc...Groups that require extra protection from the law are called protected classes.

The law covers additional protected classes in housing, including lawful source of income. A lawful source of income is any federal, state, or local subsidy. If a landlord owns a building with 6 or more units, they are required to accept all of the payment forms listed below:

Lawful Sources of Income 

  • CityFHEPS


  • Public Assistance

  • Section 8



  • HASA

  • Employment


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This means it is illegal in New York City for a landlord or a broker to deny an individual housing based on the way they plan on paying their rent. Despite extra protection by the law, people with programs face relentless discrimination in the city's housing market.

Source of Income Discrimination (SID) sounds different depending on the situation, and sometimes is extremely subtle, which makes it difficult to track and report.

Landlords and brokers, who have faced little retaliation from the law in the past, continue to shamelessly keep New Yorkers with vouchers and public assistance out of stable housing, and have helped reinforce a negative stigma around vouchers and voucher holders.  



Have you been denied housing, or told "no" because of your rental assistance voucher? If so, do not ignore it! The law is on your side, and the city is vigorously pursuing landlords and brokers who are in violation of the Human Rights Law. If you are discriminated against because of your source of income,  report your case here

Reporting SID has the potential to benefit you directly. Most importantly, reporting helps enforce the city's law that protects voucher holders from discrimination. Without reporting, landlords and brokers continue to turn away voucher holders without facing the consequences. 

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lawful sources of income


Section 8

Section 8, also known as Housing Choice Vouchers, are federally funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and distributed by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Recipients of  Section 8 pay approximately 30% of their income after adjustments on rent, and the voucher covers the rest, to an extent. As of December 10, 2009, NYCHA closed the waitlist for Section 8 due to excessive wait times. If you were on the waitlist for a Section 8 voucher before that date, you will remain there as long as you maintain your spot.  



CityFHEPS (Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention) is a city funded rental assistance program that will help families and individuals find and keep housing. CityFHEPS has replaced the LINC, SEPS, and CITYFEPS rental assistance programs.  There is now one program to make it easier for people to get help, easier for landlords to get payments, and easier for DSS to manage cases. The voucher is distributed by the Human Resource Administration (HRA).




HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) vouchers is a federally funded program that is administered by the Human Resource Administration (HRA). The voucher assists individuals and families with HIV/AIDS and open cash assistance cases. HASA recipients must pay 30% of their adjusted income on rent, and the voucher covers the rest, to an extent. The program provides additional case management, as well as emergency transitional housing for the housing search process.



HUD-VASH is a federally funded collaboration between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).  HUD-VASH vouchers are for homeless veterans, with a specific emphasis on chronically homeless veterans. As of  2008, beneficiaries are no longer required to have chronic mental illness or chronic substance abuse disorders in order to qualify for the voucher.  


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are federal programs that provide cash payments to individuals who meet the requirements.  SSI recipients may or may not have worked in the past, and meet the guidelines set by the Social Security Administration regarding their disability. SSDI is available for workers who become disabled , and enables those who qualify to obtain social security benefits early.  



If you have income that is not listed here or have questions about other possible sources, contact us. We will help you understand your rights and  take action. 


Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) is a state funded program for families with children who have been evicted or are facing eviction, who have lost their housing due to a domestic violence situation, or who have lost their housing because of health or safety issues. Families must have an open cash assistance case in order to qualify for FHEPS, and the voucher is distributed by the Human Resource Administration (HRA).