real estate

Does It Violate Housing Codes to Market a Residential Apartment Building To The Gays?

That developers and real estate agents market certain buildings to certain demographics (yuppies! hipsters! bankers! philanderers!) is no secret. But often they run afoul of local housing discrimination codes and the federal Fair Housing Act. In New York City, it is illegal (PDF) to consider race, color, religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability, immigrant status, legal occupation, or whether children will be living with them when determining a renter or buyer’s qualifications. That’s why Craigslist and Village Voice ads can land their listers in trouble when they say a condo is “ideal for bachelors” (discriminates against married folks) or “perfect for college grads” (discriminates against seniors).

We’ll leave it to state attorneys general — or our J.D.-holding readers — to figure out whether certain advertising encourages such discrimination, but we’ll present this gay case study for the new Port 10 building on Manhattan’s West 28th Street. A Curbed source (the developer?) says it’ll be the “first gay marketed apartment building in NYC.”

Does that run afoul of housing codes prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation? Namely, heterosexuality?