senate Bill S498

Prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 24 / Jan / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO CODES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Summary

Prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence relating to housing, including but not limited to, the purchase, rent, lease or housing accommodation; defines domestic violence victim to include victims of domestic violence pursuant to the social services law and victims of stalking offenses.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9154
Versions:
S498
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§292 & 296, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S936, A1055, S936
2007-2008: A5916A

Votes

8
0
8
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Investigations and Government Operations committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S498

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting discriminatory
practices against domestic violence victims

PURPOSE:

To protect domestic violence victims from housing discrimination based
on their status as a victim.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

This bill amends Executive Law § 292 (the Human Rights Law) to add
domestic violence victim status to the list of bases that may not
lawfully be relied on when denying an individual the right to
purchase, rent, lease or inhabit housing accommodation. A new
definition of "domestic violence victim" is added.

JUSTIFICATION:

Homelessness among domestic violence victims is a significant problem,
which can prevent such victims, who are primarily women, from
stabilizing their lives and the lives of their children and other
dependents.
While homelessness can result from a number of factors, in a 1999
publication the United States Conference of Mayors identified
domestic violence as a significant cause of homelessness. In a 1999
study conducted by the National Resource Center on Domestic violence,
67% of domestic violence service providers identified housing
discrimination as a barrier to battered women seeking alternative
housing. Battered women who cannot find a place to live may be forced
to return to their abusers.
Landlords and sellers of property should not be permitted to
discriminate against domestic violence victims based upon assumptions
about the effect that their tenancy or home ownership may have on
property or other persons.

In 1985 the Office of the Attorney General issued a Formal opinion
(85-F15) that recognized that barring rentals to domestic violence
victims would have a disproportionate impact on women, and is not
justified by a business necessity. The Opinion pointed out that a
battered individual seeking housing, who has no intention of
undertaking future cohabitation with the abuser or permitting the
offending person to enter the premises, should not be denied living
quarters based on a third party's previous violence. The opinion
affirmed that a property owner may adopt nondiscriminatory rules to
protect against damage to persons or property.

This bill would incorporate the Opinion into the Human Rights Law to
ensure that domestic violence victims and property owners have clear
notice of their legally binding rights and responsibilities, so as to
further ensure that persons are protected, not punished, for being
subjected to the suffering that results from domestic violence.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2007 Investigations and Government Operations
2008 Investigations and Government Operations

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The act shall take effect immediately upon enactment.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   498

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting  discrimi-
  natory practices against domestic violence victims

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 292 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 35 to read as follows:
  35. THE TERM "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS  OR
IS PERCEIVED BY THE ACTOR TO BE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS DEFINED
IN  SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED  FIFTY-NINE-A  OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, OR
STALKING AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED TWENTY OF THE PENAL LAW.
  S 2. Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subdivision 2-a of section 296  of
the  executive  law,  as amended by chapter 106 of the laws of 2003, are
amended to read as follows:
  (a) To refuse to sell, rent or lease or otherwise to deny to or  with-
hold  from  any  person  or group of persons such housing accommodations
because of the race, creed, color, disability, national  origin,  sexual
orientation,   military  status,  age,  sex,  marital  status,  DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS, or familial status of such person or persons, or
to represent that any housing accommodation or land is not available for
inspection, sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available.
  (b) To discriminate against any person because of  his  or  her  race,
creed,  color, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military
status, age, sex, marital status, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  VICTIM  STATUS,  or
familial  status in the terms, conditions or privileges of any publicly-
assisted housing accommodations or in the furnishing  of  facilities  or
services in connection therewith.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01981-01-1

S. 498                              2

  (c) To cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concern-
ing  the  race, creed, color, disability, national origin, sexual orien-
tation, membership in the reserve armed forces of the United  States  or
in  the organized militia of the state, age, sex, marital status, DOMES-
TIC  VIOLENCE  VICTIM  STATUS, or familial status of a person seeking to
rent or lease any  publicly-assisted  housing  accommodation;  provided,
however, that nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit a member of the
reserve armed forces of the United States or in the organized militia of
the state from voluntarily disclosing such membership.
  S  3.  Subparagraphs  1,  2 and 3 of paragraph (a) of subdivision 5 of
section 296 of the executive law, as amended by chapter 106 of the  laws
of 2003, are amended to read as follows:
  (1) To refuse to sell, rent, lease or otherwise to deny to or withhold
from any person or group of persons such a housing accommodation because
of the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military
status,  sex,  age, disability, marital status, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM
STATUS, or familial status of such person or persons,  or  to  represent
that  any housing accommodation or land is not available for inspection,
sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available.
  (2) To discriminate against any person because of race, creed,  color,
national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age, disabil-
ity, marital status, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS, or familial status
in  the  terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of
any such housing accommodation or in the  furnishing  of  facilities  or
services in connection therewith.
  (3)  To  print  or  circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any
statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of  applica-
tion  for the purchase, rental or lease of such housing accommodation or
to make any  record  or  inquiry  in  connection  with  the  prospective
purchase,  rental  or  lease  of  such  a  housing  accommodation  which
expresses, directly or  indirectly,  any  limitation,  specification  or
discrimination  as to race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orien-
tation, military status, sex, age, disability, marital status,  DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE  VICTIM  STATUS,  or familial status, or any intent to make any
such limitation, specification or discrimination.
  S 4. Subdivision 5 of section 296 of the executive law is  amended  by
adding a new paragraph (h) to read as follows:
  (H)  IT SHALL BE AN UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE FOR ANY PERSON OR
ENTITY TO OBTAIN FOR, OR PROVIDE TO, ANY  PERSON  HAVING  THE  RIGHT  TO
SELL,  RENT  OR  LEASE A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION, OR ANY AGENT OR EMPLOYEE
THEREOF, INFORMATION RELATING TO THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS  OF
AN INDIVIDUAL WHO RENTS, LEASES OR SUB-LEASES A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION OR
WHO SEEKS TO PURCHASE, RENT, LEASE OR SUB-LEASE A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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