Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed into law a package of bills that will expand New York City’s landmark Green New Deal, increase access to online rental assistance and strengthen income discrimination laws.
The bills include:
Intro. 1947-A (Constantanides): Increases the threshold for rent-regulated buildings to be exempted from Green New Deal emissions reduction requirements. Under the original law, buildings with one or more rent-regulated units were be exempted. Under this law, buildings that are up to 35 percent rent-regulated will required to meet the Green New Deal standards. The bill provides this newly added universe of buildings an extra two years to comply with the initial requirements.
Intro. 2072-A (Constantanides): Requires the City to report on its outreach and education efforts and methods buildings use to comply with greenhouse gas emissions limits pursuant to Local Law 97 of 2019, including information about non-compliant buildings, types of retrofits different building types are using, and funding available for these energy investments.
Intro. 2080-A (Levin): Requires the Department of Social Services provide clients online access to their CityFHEPS rental assistance application. This will help clients track their application status and serve as a way for New Yorkers to get help if they have questions about the application process.
Intro. 1339-A (Ayala): Requires the Department of Social Services to provide information to CityFHEPS rental assistance applicants about income discrimination at the time an applicant receives a “shopping letter” from DSS. The notice would provide information about protections under the New York City Human Rights Law related to discrimination on the basis of a person’s lawful source of income and use of rental vouchers.
Examples of actions that may indicate discrimination include:
- Refusing to accept lawful source of income for rent payment (unemployment benefits, child support, alimony, foster care subsidies, Social Security, or any other form of federal, state, or local public assistance or housing assistance)
- Publishing any type of advertisement that indicates a refusal to accept any lawful source of income
- Refusing or delaying repairs because a person uses any lawful source of income for rent payment
- Refusing to accept a CityFHEPS subsidy for payment of rent or a security deposit voucher
"The Council is proud of our efforts to create and expand a Green New Deal for New York City and we will continue to strengthen the Climate Mobilization Act and other resiliency initiatives. We will also keep working to protect New Yorkers from income discrimination and increase access to rental assistance for tenants throughout this pandemic and beyond," said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca
"We must, and will, ensure our climate interventions also protect every New Yorker's right to affordable, comfortable and healthy housing," said Mark Chambers, Director of Sustainability, City of New York. "Intros 1947 and 2072 signed today provide pathways for more buildings to meet our ambitious climate goals, and we stand ready to support their compliance."
New Yorkers in need, permanent housing,
"Fighting source of income discrimination remains a top priority at the NYC Commission on Human Rights” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Since 2014, the Commission has assessed over $1.2 million in damages and penalties in source of income cases, $450,000 of which was assessed in Fiscal Year 2020 alone. Because of the systemic nature of these violations, the Commission employs innovative strategies in our enforcement efforts to ensure maximum impact, such as requiring violators to set aside a percentage of their units specifically for tenants utilizing government rental assistance. Today’s bills serve to strengthen the Commission’s ability to protect New Yorkers. At a time when housing insecurity is made all the more dangerous by the COVID-19 pandemic, we applaud these steps taken toward eradicating housing discrimination and keeping people in safe and secure homes."