Housing Discrimination: It’s Cause I’m Black Right?


NY Newsday recently concluded a 3 year investigation on Long Island, in which 49% of African Americans received discriminatory treatment from real estate agents. Half of the Black customers were discriminated against in 2019. 

You may be shocked by this data, but you should know that this is happening in every county, and every state of the union. You only have to go the any place of worship in your town to observed the racial divide. Real Estate agents play a part in causing, or repairing, this divide. 

Legal Counsel John Dolgetta reminds us of the law.  The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for an agent “…to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” (See 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c)). New York State has several additional “protected classes”, such as age, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, domestic violence victim status, disability, military status, gender identity and source of income.

According to the National Association of Realtors “[s]teering under the Fair Housing Act is the process of influencing a buyer’s choice of communities based upon the buyer’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin.” It is illegal. Still some realtors steer clients into communities that match their race, irrespective of their income or qualification. The tragic part is that the client won’t even know it happened. 

Click the link below to see the report and 40 minute video yourself. Steering has very real consequences for the impacted home seeker and the community they have been steered away from. If you observe steering, report it. If you need assistance…AskHollingsworth.