LIEB BLOG

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Showing posts with label CityFHEPS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CityFHEPS. Show all posts

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Fight to Stop Source of Income Discrimination in NYC

NYC Council has enacted local law 1339-2019, which amends Title 21 of the NYC Administrative Code by adding section 21-142, requiring the DSS to provide CityFHEPS (a rental assistance program designed to help individuals and families find and keep housing) applicants with written notice about source of income discrimination at the time an applicant receives a shopping letter from the DSS. 


The notice would provide information about protections under the NYC Human Rights Law related to source of income discrimination.  


The notice will provide the following: 

  • Examples of phrases that may indicate discrimination based on lawful source of income.
  • A statement that it is illegal for landlords, brokers, and other housing agents to request additional payments for rent, security deposit, or broker's fee because an individual receives rental assistance.
  • A statement that it is illegal for landlords, brokers, and other housing agents to publish any type of advertisement that indicates a refusal to accept rental assistance.
  • A statement that an individual has a right to be free from discriminatory, harassing, or threatening behavior or comments based on individuals' receipt of rental assistance. 
  • Contact information for the department's source of income discrimination unit.


Clearly, this local law significantly stops landlords from discriminating against prospective or existing tenants that qualify for source of income under the CityFHEPS program. On the flip side of the coin, the law undoubtedly benefits those receiving source of income from the CityFHEPS program and prospective tenant applicants of the CityFHEPS program, by greatly reducing the likelihood of landlord discrimination based on source of income, while also providing a method to report any future source of income discrimination. 


What's missing is that CityFHEPS recipients should know that they can file suit and get their attorneys' fees paid if they are victims of discrimination. While the BYC Council has made it clear that source of income discrimination will not be tolerable on any level, are landlords prepared to avoid claims of discrimination?  


Landlords - what are you doing to enact policies so your teams don't discriminate?