senate Bill S5876

Prohibits discrimination in housing based upon domestic violence status and establishing task force to study impact of source of income on access to housing

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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

  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1585
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 24 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1391
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Prohibits discrimination in housing based upon domestic violence status and establishes a task force to study the impact of source of income on access to housing.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S5876
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Real Property Law
Laws Affected:
Add §227-d, RP L; add §744, RPAP L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5876 REVISED 6/26/13

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property law and the real
property actions and proceedings law, in relation to prohibiting
discrimination in housing based upon domestic violence status and
establishing a task force to study the impact of source of income on
access to housing

Purpose:

This bill would enact part of the New York Women's Agenda, which would
break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality
based on gender. New York State has a proud history and tradition of
leading the nation in progressive ideals and reforms This is
especially so with respect to women's rights in 1843, the women's
suffrage movement was born at the first Women's Rights Convention in
Seneca Falls, New York. From that moment in time and continuing
through today, the state has been the home of female leaders and
visionaries, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton who initiated the first
organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements, to Audre
Lorde, a leading African-American poet and essayist who gave voice to
women's issues, and Gloria Steinem, the journalist, author and
activist. These New Yorkers have served as role models for not only
their generation but for every generation to come.

Over the years, New York has fallen behind in its role as a
progressive leader on women's rights. Today, statistics clearly show
that women in New York State are not treated equally to men. Study
after study shows gender inequality in our communities where women
face discrimination in housing because of their domestic violence
victim status.

The New York Women's Agenda will break down barriers that perpetuate
discrimination and inequality based on gender. New York has served as
a model for equality and fairness on several issues including women's
rights. The New York Women's Agenda will return the State to its
rightful place as a leader on women's equality.

Summary of Bills:

5) Housing Discrimination

This bill would amend the Real Property Law to add a new Section
227-d, which would prohibit discrimination against domestic violence
victim status in housing. A violation of this prohibition would be a
misdemeanor. This bill would also allow for a civil action for a
viola- tion of the prohibition. It would also add a new Section 744 to
the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to, in a proceeding to
recover possession of a residential unit, provide a defense that such
proceeding is unlawfully based on a person's domestic violence victim
status. An exemption would exist under both of these sections for a
building that is owner occupied with two or fewer units. This bill
would also create a task force to study the impact of source of income
on access to housing.

Existing Law:


This bill would added protections that are available under the Real
Property Law.

Statement in Support:

* Stopping Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence

Discrimination against victims of domestic violence is almost always
discrimination against women. Of all victims of domestic violence.
85% are women; an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of assault
by an intimate partner each year, and about 1 in 4 women will
experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. This bill
would amend the Real Property Law to protect victims of domestic
violence from discrimination when they attempt to rent or lease
housing and provide victims of domestic violence a defense in eviction
proceedings.

Budget Implications:

This bill has no budget implications for the State.

Effective Date:

This bill would take effect 90 days after enactment.

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

                                  5876

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  ROBACH,  GRISANTI, CARLUCCI -- (at request of the
  Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when  printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Rules

AN  ACT to amend the real property law and the real property actions and
  proceedings law, in relation to prohibiting discrimination in  housing
  based  upon  domestic violence status and establishing a task force to
  study the impact of source of income on access to housing

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

  Section  1.  The  real property law is amended by adding a new section
227-d to read as follows:
  S 227-D. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATUS; PROHIBITED.
1. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, A PERSON IS A  "DOMES-
TIC  VIOLENCE VICTIM" AND POSSESSES "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS" IF
SUCH PERSON IS OR HAS BEEN, OR IS A PARENT ACCOMPANIED BY A MINOR  CHILD
OR  CHILDREN  WHO IS OR HAS BEEN, IN A SITUATION IN WHICH SUCH PERSON OR
CHILD IS A VICTIM OF AN ACT  THAT  WOULD  CONSTITUTE  A  VIOLENT  FELONY
OFFENSE  AS  ENUMERATED  IN  SECTION 70.02 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR A FAMILY
OFFENSE AS ENUMERATED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE
OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, AND SUCH ACT IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN  COMMITTED
BY  A  MEMBER OF THE SAME FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION
ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT.
  2. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS PROHIBITED.
(A) NO PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OWNING OR MANAGING ANY BUILDING  USED
FOR DWELLING PURPOSES, OR THE AGENT OF SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION,
SHALL,  BECAUSE  OF  SUCH  PERSON'S OR FAMILY MEMBER'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
VICTIM STATUS, (1) REFUSE TO RENT A RESIDENTIAL UNIT TO  ANY  PERSON  OR
FAMILY,  WHEN,  BUT FOR SUCH STATUS, RENTAL WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REFUSED,
(2) DISCRIMINATE IN THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, OR  PRIVILEGES  OF  ANY  SUCH
RENTAL,  WHEN,  BUT  FOR SUCH STATUS, SUCH DISCRIMINATION WOULD NOT HAVE
OCCURRED, OR (3) PRINT OR CIRCULATE, OR CAUSE TO BE  PRINTED  OR  CIRCU-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD12054-01-3

S. 5876                             2

LATED,  ANY  STATEMENT,  ADVERTISEMENT  OR  PUBLICATION WHICH EXPRESSES,
DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY,  ANY  LIMITATION,  SPECIFICATION,  OR  DISCRIMI-
NATION.  A  VIOLATION OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE A MISDEMEANOR AND, ON
CONVICTION  THEREOF,  SHALL  BE  PUNISHED BY A FINE OF NOT LESS THAN ONE
THOUSAND DOLLARS AND  NOT  MORE  THAN  TWO  THOUSAND  DOLLARS  FOR  EACH
OFFENSE; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IT SHALL BE A DEFENSE THAT SUCH PERSON,
FIRM,  CORPORATION  OR  AGENT  REFUSED TO RENT A RESIDENTIAL UNIT ON ANY
OTHER LAWFUL GROUND.
  (B) CIVIL LIABILITY: (1) WHERE DISCRIMINATORY  CONDUCT  PROHIBITED  BY
THIS  SUBDIVISION HAS OCCURRED, SUCH PERSON OR FAMILY SHALL HAVE A CAUSE
OF ACTION IN ANY COURT OF APPROPRIATE JURISDICTION FOR COMPENSATORY  AND
PUNITIVE  DAMAGES, WITH SUCH PUNITIVE DAMAGES NOT EXCEEDING TWO THOUSAND
DOLLARS FOR EACH OFFENSE, AND DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF; AND (2)
IN ALL ACTIONS BROUGHT UNDER THIS SECTION, REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AS
DETERMINED BY THE COURT MAY BE AWARDED TO A PREVAILING PARTY,  PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, THAT A PREVAILING DEFENDANT IN ORDER TO RECOVER SUCH REASONABLE
ATTORNEYS'  FEES  MUST  MAKE A MOTION REQUESTING SUCH FEES AND SHOW THAT
THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT WAS FRIVOLOUS. IN  ORDER  TO  FIND  THE
ACTION OR PROCEEDING TO BE FRIVOLOUS, THE COURT MUST FIND ONE OR MORE OF
THE  FOLLOWING:  (I)  THE ACTION WAS COMMENCED, USED OR CONTINUED IN BAD
FAITH, SOLELY TO DELAY OR PROLONG THE RESOLUTION OF THE LITIGATION OR TO
HARASS OR MALICIOUSLY INJURE ANOTHER; OR (II) THE ACTION  WAS  COMMENCED
OR  CONTINUED IN BAD FAITH WITHOUT ANY REASONABLE BASIS AND COULD NOT BE
SUPPORTED BY A GOOD FAITH ARGUMENT FOR  AN  EXTENSION,  MODIFICATION  OR
REVERSAL  OF  EXISTING  LAW.  IF  THE  ACTION OR PROCEEDING WAS PROMPTLY
DISCONTINUED WHEN THE PARTY OR ATTORNEY LEARNED OR SHOULD  HAVE  LEARNED
THAT  THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING LACKED SUCH A REASONABLE BASIS, THE COURT
MAY FIND THAT THE PARTY OR THE ATTORNEY DID NOT ACT IN BAD FAITH.
  (C) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LIMITING THE ABILITY
OF A PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OWNING OR MANAGING A BUILDING USED  FOR
DWELLING  PURPOSES,  OR  THE  AGENT OF SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION,
FROM APPLYING REASONABLE STANDARDS NOT BASED ON OR DERIVED FROM DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS IN DETERMINING THE ELIGIBILITY  OF  A  PERSON  OR
FAMILY SEEKING TO RENT A RESIDENTIAL UNIT.
  (D)  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  BUILDINGS USED FOR DWELLING
PURPOSES THAT ARE OWNER OCCUPIED  AND  HAVE  TWO  OR  FEWER  RESIDENTIAL
UNITS.
  3.  A  PERSON, FIRM, OR CORPORATION OWNING OR MANAGING A BUILDING USED
FOR DWELLING PURPOSES OR AGENT OF SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SHALL
NOT BE CIVILLY LIABLE TO OTHER TENANTS, GUESTS, INVITEES,  OR  LICENSEES
ARISING  FROM  REASONABLE  AND  GOOD  FAITH  EFFORTS TO COMPLY WITH THIS
SECTION.
  4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS PROHIBITING A PERSON,
FIRM OR CORPORATION OWNING OR MANAGING  A  BUILDING  USED  FOR  DWELLING
PURPOSES, OR THE AGENT OF SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION, FROM:
  (A)  PROVIDING  OR  PRESERVING  A  RENTAL  PREFERENCE IN ANY PUBLIC OR
PRIVATE HOUSING FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE;
  (B) PROVIDING ANY OTHER ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  IN
OBTAINING OR RETAINING ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE HOUSING; OR
  (C)  RESPONDING  TO  AN INQUIRY OR REQUEST BY AN APPLICANT, TENANT, OR
LEASEHOLDER WHO IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
  5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS PROHIBITING A MUNICI-
PALITY FROM RETAINING OR PROMULGATING LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES  IMPOSING
ADDITIONAL  OR  ENHANCED  PROTECTIONS PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST
VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

S. 5876                             3

  6. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS  LIMITING,  DIMINISH-
ING, OR OTHERWISE AFFECTING ANY RIGHTS UNDER EXISTING LAW.
  S  2.  The  real  property  actions  and proceedings law is amended by
adding a new section 744 to read as follows:
  S 744. EVICTION BASED ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM  STATUS  PROHIBITED.
1.  A  TENANT SHALL NOT BE REMOVED FROM POSSESSION OF A RESIDENTIAL UNIT
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE  OF  SUCH  PERSON'S  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE
VICTIM  STATUS,  AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN-D OF THE
REAL PROPERTY LAW. IT SHALL BE A DEFENSE  TO  A  PROCEEDING  TO  RECOVER
POSSESSION  OF  A  RESIDENTIAL  UNIT THAT A LANDLORD SEEKS SUCH RECOVERY
BECAUSE OF A PERSON'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS, AND THAT, BUT FOR
SUCH STATUS, THE LANDLORD WOULD NOT SEEK TO RECOVER POSSESSION. A  LAND-
LORD  MAY  REBUT SUCH DEFENSE BY SHOWING THAT HE OR SHE SEEKS TO RECOVER
POSSESSION OF A RESIDENTIAL UNIT BECAUSE OF ANY OTHER LAWFUL GROUND.
  2. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL RESTRICT A LANDLORD'S LEGAL RIGHTS TO
RECOVER POSSESSION OF A RESIDENTIAL UNIT ON  GROUNDS  NOT  BASED  ON  OR
DERIVED FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM STATUS.
  3.  A  LANDLORD  SHALL NOT BE CIVILLY LIABLE TO OTHER TENANTS, GUESTS,
INVITEES, OR LICENSEES ARISING FROM REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH EFFORTS TO
COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION.
  4. THIS SECTION  SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  BUILDINGS  USED  FOR  DWELLING
PURPOSES  THAT  ARE  OWNER  OCCUPIED  AND  HAVE TWO OR FEWER RESIDENTIAL
UNITS.
  S 3. There is hereby established a task force to study the  impact  of
source of income on access to housing including, but not limited to, any
sex-based impact.  The task force shall consist of the following members
as appointed by the governor: (1) two members of the governor's cabinet;
(2)  two  experts on housing policy representing the needs of both land-
lords and tenants; (3) two members who are local  government  officials,
who  shall  each  represent  different  geographical  regions within the
state; (4) two members on the recommendation of the temporary  president
of  the senate; and (5) two members on the recommendation of the speaker
of the assembly. The governor shall designate a chair of the task  force
from  amongst such appointees.  The task force shall meet as often as is
appropriate under circumstances necessary to fulfill  its  duties  under
this  section.  The  task  force  shall (a) review the Section 8 Housing
Choice Voucher Administrative Plan and, if necessary, recommend  modifi-
cations  to increase the participation of landlords and property owners,
which may include, but shall not be limited to: expanding the  portabil-
ity  of Section 8 vouchers, including as may be appropriate for domestic
violence victims; creating a  state-sponsored  special-purpose  mobility
counseling  program;  enhancing  means  of connecting voucher holders to
approved landlords; and eliminating delays in housing  quality  standard
inspections;  and  (b)  review  other  current policies and laws and, if
necessary, recommend modifications to  improve  access  to  quality  and
affordable housing. The task force shall submit its report and recommen-
dations  to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the
speaker of the assembly on January 15, 2015.
  S 4. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
sion, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by a court of compe-
tent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,  impair
or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its opera-
tion  to  the  clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part
thereof directly involved in the  controversy  in  which  such  judgment
shall  have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the

S. 5876                             4

legislature that this act would have been enacted even if  such  invalid
provisions had not been included herein.
  S  5.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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