(Source: Gotham Gazette)

It’s been some 40 years since the federal Fair Housing Act was passed allowing the Department of Justice to prosecute “patterns or practices” of housing discrimination” and 20 years since that act was amended to permit the department to act against municipalities that violate fair housing standards.

Yet housing discrimination persists in New York, according to the Fair Housing Justice Center, a city-based non-profit fair housing organization. The city’s acute shortage of affordable housing combined with the fact that “real estate brokers and agents handle much of the rental market, unlike any other U.S. city” has created an unchecked system riddled with corruption and abuse, said Diane Houk, executive director of the center.

Even though city government has taken some measures to fight this kind of discrimination, fair housing advocates still see the need for better and more flexible enforcement. They say that all levels of government have failed to keep up with rapid technological changes — like the advent of the Internet to advertise apartments — to monitor compliance and ensure rules are followed.

Read Jillian Jonas’ full article “Housing Bias Persists, Fuelled by the Internet” in the Gotham Gazette (August 31, 2009).

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