Haven’t they been reading the conspicuous language relevant to government assistance and its inclusion as an income source rendering prospective renters eligible for leases across New York City?
Or have they just been looking away?
Either way, there it is, prominently stated since 2008 in the city’s Human Rights Law (paraphrased): No landlord or broker can deny housing to individuals and families who seek to pay a portion or all of their rent with government housing vouchers.
Put another way, as noted in a local article on landlords discriminating against apartment applicants with subsidized income: For would-be tenants, any source of legal income — including any subsidized help geared toward relieving housing-related hardship — is deemed as legitimate, with any landlord who turns down an application because of reference to a government program being in stark violation of the law.
Reportedly, a number of landlords aren’t playing fair.
In fact, the New York City Commission on Human Rights cited multiple property owners and managers — including landlords in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx — just earlier this week for noncompliance with the law, finding them to be willfully discriminating “for repeatedly refusing to accept prospective tenants’ government assistance housing vouchers.”
One woman they certainly shouldn’t have picked on resolutely persisted in her housing search, being denied more than two dozen times before securing an apartment. She is now a plaintiff in a discrimination lawsuit against those landlords and additional property owners.
“I felt like crap,” she recently said.
That should never be the case, given the law and regulators’ stated assertions that they regard it as tremendously important and will proceed vigorously against violators.
Tenants who are denied housing owing to their income source, or who encounter other problems relating to bad-faith landlord behavior, might reasonably want to contact a proven tenants’ rights lawyer without delay for proven and aggressive assistance.