Anyone searching for an apartment in New York City on sites such as Craigslist in recent years knows that phrases such as “No programs!” or “No section 8 accepted!” have been all too common. Not anymore. This week, the City Council passed a new law that will prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of how they pay their rent, including those who pay their rent with Section 8 vouchers.
In a statement, Council Speaker Christine Quinn wrote, “With the rising cost of housing, it’s critical that we take every possible step to preserve and increase access to affordable housing. The Section 8 voucher program and other forms of governmental rent assistance are an essential source of housing in this City, providing a critical safety net for thousands of New York families with limited incomes. Yet, far too many tenants who rely on these vital forms of assistance have reported facing problems, delays, or even flat-out rejection from landlords when attempting to use government assistance to secure and maintain affordable housing.
Thanks to the hard work of the Council, together with ACORN and other housing groups, this bill will not only increase access for people eligible for government subsidies to affordable housing, but it will also fully protect an individual’s right to housing, regardless of their financial circumstances.”