Sunday, December 20, 2015

NYC Officials Demand Action Against City Landlords Who Openly Violate Local Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination Against Prospective Section 8 Renters & Others Who Receive Government Aid

In New York City, the New York Daily News (via The Real Deal - New York City) reports:
  • As the city presses landlords to take in homeless families, some have decided it’s okay to illegally refuse to rent to tenants who get government aid, the city controller has found.

    A disturbing pattern has emerged on Craigslist of landlords openly warning off tenants who get city or federal housing assistance, Controller Scott Stringer said Tuesday.

    On Craigslist this week, one ad for a two-bedroom in East Flatbush stated flatly “NO VOUCHERS.” A one-bedroom in Pelham Bay specified "Sorry NO Public Assistance."

    A Coney Island one-bedroom — described as "nice place, nice price" — spelled out "No Section 8 Pls," referring to federal aid for poor families.

    A 2008 city law bars landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their “lawful source of income,” and on Tuesday Stringer demanded that the city's Commission on Human Rights go after landlords who openly ignore the law.

    “These ads say 'no voucher need apply,' echoing generations of discrimination against low-income New Yorkers," Stringer stated.
    ***
    On Tuesday Stringer sent Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis a letter demanding action.

    In June, Malalis noted the commission had begun free training to “educate housing providers” about the law — noting that she “regularly receives complaints from the public reporting that landlors or real estate brokers refuse to rent to tenants with public assistance vouchers.”

    On Tuesday, HRC spokesman Seth Hoy said, "It's illegal to refuse to rent to tenants with public assistance vouchers in New York City and the Commission on Human Rights aggressively investigates and will prosecute any landlord or broker who discriminates on this basis."

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