June 3, 2022
A June 2021 survey conducted by Jefferson Community College found that between 13% and 16% of respondents said they had experienced some form of discrimination in their search for housing over the prior 12 months.
“If it’s 13% to 16%, that seems to be relatively consistent as reported in prior years. Some of the protected classes under fair housing law include sex, religion, national origin or race, and disability,” Matilda M. Larson, a planner with the St. Lawrence County Planning Office, said during the latest St. Lawrence County Fair Housing Task Force meeting.
She said protected classes include female tenants who are experiencing sexual harassment from the landlord because of their sex; persons with disabilities and reasonable accommodations or modifications; and individual tenants who have emotional support animals.
“Those tend to be the three biggest categories that have been identified,” Ms. Larson said.
P.J. Herne, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, said discrimination could also target people receiving Department of Social Services assistance or those participating in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERAP.
“If you’re refusing to accept ERAP, that is a form of income discrimination,” Mr. Herne said.