Fair Housing

Fair Housing and Landlord/Tenant Issues
The mission of the Schenectady Fair Housing Program is to promote and ensure equal housing opportunities to all residents of the City of Schenectady. Our goals are to inform housing consumers that housing markets are open to all without bias and to assist consumers in securing fair housing rights when they experience housing discrimination. We also provide information and referrals for landlord/tenant issues.

"Fair Housing" refers to practices that comply with the federal Fair Housing Act, originally passed in 1968. The Fair Housing Act as amended prohibits discrimination in housing and related transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability and familial status (the presence or anticipated presence of children under 18 in a home).

Not all unfair practices by a landlord or other person involved in a housing-related transaction are covered by the Fair Housing Act. Only those actions that discriminate based on one or more of the seven bases listed above are covered by the Fair Housing Act.

The following actions are illegal when it comes to housing:
  • Refusal to sell or rent a dwelling after a bona fide offer has been made, or refusal to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling.
  • Changing the terms and conditions for buying or renting housing dependent upon the person inquiring.
  • Printing, posting or making statements or advertisements that a dwelling is available only to persons of a certain race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicap or familial status.
  • Denying housing is available for inspection, sale or rental when it actually is available.
  • Discriminating in real estate transactions, such as financing, appraising, selling, brokering, making loans or providing other financial assistance.
  • Denying the use of real estate services, brokerage services or multiple listing services.
  • Threatening, coercing or otherwise intimidating or interfering with anyone trying to exercise their fair housing right or assisting others to exercise those rights.
The City of Schenectady and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are able to help with any occurrence of housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated, contact the City of Schenectady Fair Housing Coordinator as listed, or you may contact the HUD.

Information you will need to make a complaint:
  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the person against whom you are making the complaint
  • The address or other identification of the housing involved
  • A short description of the alleged violation
  • The date(s) of the alleged violation