Discrimination is the unequal treatment of people or things based on certain categorizations. Certain landlords in New York City are discriminating against tenants who plan on paying rent with lawful sources of income. Source of income discrimination is a punishable offense, yet landlords continue to turn away individuals and families with little retaliation from the law.
Source of Income Discrimination (SID) comes in different forms, and can sometimes be extremely subtle, making it difficult to track and report. Look over common phrases used by landlords here. If you feel that you have been a victim of SID during your housing search process, do not ignore it! By tracking and reporting source of income discrimination, you can help enforce fair housing in New York City. Report any unlawful actions here:
Helpful phrases to consider when speaking with landlords about potential housing
Do NOT tell landlord/broker upfront that you have a voucher. Wait until they ask you about income.
"Hi, I'm calling to see if you have any apartments available for one person. "
Get them talking, even if they say they have nothing available.
"Do you normally have something in my price range?."
When you are asked about the price range you're seeking for an apartment, do not give them the specific amount the voucher covers.
"My budget is around $--."
If they ask when you are looking to move, do NOT say as soon as possible. Be general about it
"I am looking to move by the end of the month"
Ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and where they work. Do NOT say you are keeping records!
" Hi, I am calling to see if you have any apartments available. Who am I speaking with?"
If they ask about your income, be honest!
"I have a -- voucher"