Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre: New Housing Discrimination Laws Help Ensure Equal Treatment for All Homebuyers

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Wheatley Heights) announced that four bills she sponsored and passed to promote equal treatment and combat discrimination in the real estate industry were signed into law by the governor.

“The 2019 Newsday report on housing discrimination plainly and clearly demonstrated that discriminatory and unequal treatment is far too common in the housing market, especially for Black, Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers,” said Jean-Pierre. “To address this shocking inequality, I championed legislation to help root out this harmful behavior once and for all and ensure all real estate brokers are following the letter and spirit of anti-discrimination statutes. I want to thank Gov. Hochul for signing this important legislation into law and I’ll continue working to address inequality in our communities and across our state.”

One of the new laws increases penalties levied against real estate brokers for discrimination and directs a portion of those funds to the new Anti-discrimination in Housing Fund (Ch. 687 of 2021). The fund will be used by the state Attorney General to enhance fair housing testing and grants for local agencies and nonprofits to tackle housing discrimination. Another law requires real estate brokers and salespeople to undergo cultural competency training when applying for or renewing their licenses (Ch. 688 of 2021). To help expand fair housing testing statewide, one of the laws I championed adds an additional $30 surcharge to the licensing fees for brokers and agents (Ch. 698 of 2021). Finally, the fourth law establishes a hotline for New Yorkers to report housing discrimination and requires realtors to publicly post this number (Ch. 701 of 2021).