Affordable housing applicants with low credit scores and legal history now protected from discrimination

Posted On Tue, October 4, 2016 By

Posted On Tue, October 4, 2016 By In affordable housing, housing lotteries, Policy

In recent months, the city has been pushing for legislation that better protects tenants, including a bill that would guarantee lawyers for all low-income residents facing eviction and regulations over screening software services that leads to landlord discrimination. They’re now taking this idea to affordable housing lotteries, where there’s been a major uptick in activity over the past couple years due to the Mayor’s goal to add or preserve 200,000 units over 10 years. As DNAinfo reports, the city is releasing today an online Marketing Handbook for the lotteries, and among the objectives are protections for applicants with low credit scores and those who have previously taken their landlords to court.

These are the first major changes to the rules since the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development launched its Housing Connect online lottery portal in 2013. In addition to the aforementioned protections, the new stipulations include:

  • Tighter guidelines to ensure affordable apartments will be applicants’ primary residences
  • Requirements that all interview locations be accessible, clearly marked, and provided with interpretation services
  • A ban on home visits as part of the interview process
  • Clarification on how developers can access personal assets and income received through government benefits (such as GI benefits for veterans)
  • Reforms to the appeal process for those who feel they were wrongfully denied housing
  • A requirement that developers submit marketing plans to the city for approval seven months before construction is complete

In a statement, de Blasio said, “Disqualifications based solely on credit history, or because a tenant fought for his or her rights in housing court, have no place in our affordable housing programs. These key improvements to the rules level the playing field and give every household the chance to find a home within their means.”

[Via DNAinfo]

RELATED:

  • Joann Davis

    I wantt fist come first sever stop the lottery it not fair an stop letting these rich developed many apt to expensive for America an running us out of own neighbors an own country

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