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Understanding equal housing opportunity in New York

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Real Estate

Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to live in New York, whether buying or renting. Equal housing opportunity laws, also called EHO laws, apply to people like landlords, mortgage lenders and real estate companies.

Why are equal housing opportunity laws so important?

These laws are in place to ensure equality by protecting individuals from being discriminated against. Some of the main categories that are protected under equal housing opportunity laws include:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Family Status
  • National origin

If you’re ever in a situation where you think you’ve experienced this kind of discrimination, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD is where you can file your complaint. You may also consider filing a lawsuit.

Under Federal law, you are protected from being discriminated against when you buy, rent or finance a home. At the heart of equal housing opportunity laws is the idea that everyone should be able to choose a home without being limited by the discriminatory tactics of others. These laws are also called equal opportunity housing.

Disrimination takes many forms

The Fair Housing Act is central to equal housing opportunity. It offers protection from a variety of discrimination types and protected statuses.

Under these real estate laws, landlords and lenders can’t deny someone rental housing or a mortgage because of their race, religion, nationality, age, family status or disability. In addition, landlords, sellers, and lenders can’t set different financial requirements or limit how the property is used based on the buyer’s or renter’s protected characteristics.

One common example is if you have a disability and have a service animal. If you move into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, they are still required to allow you and your service animal to stay there.

It is important to note that some exceptions exist to equal housing opportunity laws. A notable example is that of designated senior housing communities. These communities can discriminate based on age and family status when approving housing applications.