The Real Deal New York

VIDEO: Cuomo will use undercover agents to tackle landlords, sellers involved in housing discrimination

And he's coming after brokers too
By Alistair Gardiner | February 16, 2016 01:45PM

On Sunday, Gov. Cuomo announced the launch of a statewide initiative to crack down on discrimination in the housing market.

With an audience of parishioners at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, he said that the new Fair Housing Enforcement Program will help to identify landlords and sellers who discriminate against potential tenants based on characteristics like race, disability, economic background, and sexual orientation.

The program will involve three private fair housing agencies. These firms will train undercover “testers” of different racial, gender and economic backgrounds, who will pose as potential buyers or renters. Any real estate agents, brokers, or landlords found to be engaging in discrimination will be investigated and prosecuted under the federal Fair Housing Act and state Human Rights laws, Cuomo said. During his announcement, Cuomo also said that any broker believed to be engaging in discrimination will have their license revoked.

“Discrimination in housing is not just immoral, it is not just wrong, it is not just unethical; it is illegal,” the governor said. “I want to be just as aggressive in enforcing those laws as we are at enforcing the anti-drug laws and every other law.”

Watch the video above to see Cuomo making the announcement at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem.

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