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New York governor signs bill to combat racial housing discrimination
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New York governor signs bill to combat racial housing discrimination

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill granting authority to the New York Department of State to discipline real estate professionals who illegally discriminate based on race with suspension or revocation of their licenses.

Bill S6874-A/A8903-A, signed Monday, authorizes the New York Secretary of State to revoke or suspend the real estate licenses for any brokers or professionals who are found to have violated New York State Humans Rights laws, including discriminating based on race, ethnic background, religion, or other protected classes. It was written in response of reporting that real estate professionals in the New York City region were engaged in racial and ethnic profiling against minority homebuyers. In late 2019, New York City regional newspaper Newsday published the findings of three years of investigative journalism into the Long Island housing market that uncovered widespread and rampant housing discrimination based on race. Soon after the report was published, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that amending New York state human rights laws to combat the effects of housing discrimination would be a top priority of his administration.

In a press release, Governor Cuomo said that “we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind in New York and the sheer scope and breadth of the unscrupulous and discriminatory real estate practices uncovered on Long Island is repugnant to who we are.”