Assembly Bill A.5166 seeks to enact statewide ban on housing discrimination due to income for prospective tenants

BRONX, N.Y. – Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (Bronx-77AD) introduced a new bill that will fight to end tenant discrimination based on income across the Bronx and New York. Assembly Bill A.5166 seeks to end prior discriminatory practices by landlords that block prospective tenants from gaining housing based on their lawful source of income.

“All of New Yorkers, not just my fellow Bronxites, deserve to be treated fairly when they seek affordable housing,” said Assemblywoman Joyner. “Too often, the very fabric of our communities – our families and residents – are being pushed away due to the means by which they obtain their income. By including source of income protections in New York’s Human Rights Law, there will now be single statewide solution to this unfair, yet commonplace practice.”

The pervasive practice affects people with disabilities, the elderly, students, survivors of domestic violence, new immigrants, low- and moderate-income households with rental subsidies and many others. According to a report from the Fair Housing Justice Center, “the unique portability feature that accompanies a federal (Section 8) Housing Choice Voucher is rendered less effective when only a few jurisdictions in the State of New York make it unlawful to discriminate in housing based on source of income.”

Recently, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have ramped up efforts to crackdown on abusive landlords that harass tenants in rent-stabilized apartments. Six months ago, Attorney General Schneiderman reached a settlement with three New York City-based real estate brokers after they violated the City’s own law against sources of income discrimination.

Assemblywoman Joyner believes that Assembly Bill A.5166 can assist in this fight for tenant rights by unifying both state and citywide standards to prohibit discrimination.

New York State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (Brooklyn-18th SD) has introduced Senate Bill S.2297 as companion legislation.


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