Fair Housing Testing Investigations

Housing discrimination can be very subtle and difficult for ordinary home seekers to detect. And when it is not detected, it is not reported. Therefore, the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) initiates fair housing testing investigations to identify, document, and eliminate systemic housing discrimination.

“Testing is the most important investigative tool in our arsenal,” said Fred Freiberg, one of the FHJC’s founders. “Using the comparative lens of testing improves our vision of fair housing law enforcement. By systematically removing impediments to housing choice, the FHJC continues to expand opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

Our innovative testing program, Acting for Justice, hires professional actors and entertainers as “testers.” Testers pose as ordinary home seekers to observe the ordinary, unvarnished business practices of housing providers and others in order to determine if housing providers are complying with fair housing laws.

The FHJC’s investigations have resulted in more vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws, the opening up thousands of housing opportunities to populations previously excluded, the recovery of millions in damages and civil penalties, and the changing of policies and practices of housing providers ensuring fair treatment for all home seekers. As a result, FHJC is able to expand housing choice and create more open, accessible, and inclusive communities.