Opening Acts: April 5, 2021

Together We Can End Housing Discrimination


April is National Fair Housing Month.  This year, the Fair Housing Justice Center is unveiling a new social media campaign, “Together We Can End Housing Discrimination,” aimed at enlisting allies in the fight to end housing discrimination in the New York region.

Unlike most fair housing outreach campaigns designed to reach populations who are the direct victims of housing discrimination, the new campaign will be directed at people who have credible information about discriminatory policies and practices, urging them to come forward and report what they know.

Dark grid showing eight people of diverse backgrounds looking concerned. Large text sits over image grid that says: Together we can end housing discrimination. But we need your help.

Contemporary housing discrimination can be so subtle or cleverly concealed that it goes undetected by housing consumers, and those who do become aware often feel too intimidated or reluctant to file a complaint. But the responsibility for ending housing discrimination rests with all of us, not just direct victims.

The secretary in the real estate office who overhears agents making discriminatory comments, the condo owners who learn that their condo board is excluding certain populations, or the leasing agent at a retirement community who is told to screen out certain applicants. These and other similar scenarios are depicted in the new ads — examples of people who know that illegal discrimination is occurring, but are unsure of what to do about it.

Clicking the ads will direct viewers to a special landing page where information can be reported, anonymously if necessary. Once reported, the FHJC may conduct an undercover testing investigation to corroborate the information and, if necessary, bring legal action to stop the discriminatory conduct.

At a time of increased awareness of housing discrimination and its harmful long-term effects, the campaign will provide an outlet for those seeking to become allies in the fight for social justice.

FHJC Executive Director Fred Freiberg stated, “If you learn about a discriminatory housing policy or practice from co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, relatives, friends, and others and you want to do something about it, this is your chance. Housing discrimination continues to harm individuals, families, and communities, and you certainly do not want to be complicit in any way. So please take a moment and report what you know. You will feel better for doing the right thing, and the information you provide might help us prevent someone from having to endure the insult, embarrassment, and cost of being victimized by housing discrimination.” 

If you have specific information about  discriminatory housing policies or practices, even if you are not a direct victim, click here to report it to the FHJC.

The campaign’s creation was made possible by funding from the Eliminating Barriers to Housing in New York (EBHNY) initiative managed by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

The mission of the FHJC, a nonprofit civil rights organization, is to eliminate housing discrimination; promote policies and programs that foster open, accessible, and inclusive communities; and strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws in the New York City region.