SENATOR SQUADRON URGES CITY NOT TO EVICT SANDY VICTIMS

 

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron urged the City to cease its plans to evict roughly 350 Sandy victims who were displaced by the storm and have been living in hotels. The plan would move these victims into homeless shelters, despite the fact that they're entitled to federal rental vouchers.

"I find this plan to be thoroughly unacceptable," wrote Squadron in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg. "Instead of the City evicting some of the most vulnerable Sandy victims, we should instead be focusing our efforts on connecting them to long-term stable housing."

"Today's news reports also suggest instances of landlords refusing to rent to New Yorkers awaiting their Sandy vouchers. This seems to violate the local law that prohibits discrimination against tenants based on any lawful source of income, a law I've been working to strengthen and expand in the Senate."

Squadron also called on the Administration to cease any plans to evict the victims at least until the end of the year so that tenants have a chance to receive rental vouchers and so that the City can investigate potential discrimination. 

"Hurricane Sandy devastated the lives of thousands of families, and these 350 New Yorkers have suffered even more than most.  I look forward to working with you to do the right thing and move forward in the most thoughtful and compassionate way," concluded Squadron.

Read the full letter below.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

September 25, 2013

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

It has come to my attention that the City intends to evict roughly 350 New Yorkers who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy and have been living in hotels until their homes are repaired or until they can find an affordable apartment.  The proposal suggests that these families should be moved into the city's homeless shelter system in spite of the fact that they are entitled to federal rental vouchers.

I find this plan to be thoroughly unacceptable. Instead of the City evicting some of the most vulnerable Sandy victims, we should instead be focusing our efforts on connecting them to long-term stable housing.

Today's news reports also suggest instances of landlords refusing to rent to New Yorkers awaiting their Sandy vouchers.  This seems to violate the local law that prohibits discrimination against tenants based on any lawful source of income, a law I've been working to strengthen and expand in the Senate.

I am therefore urging the administration to cease any plans to evict Sandy victims at least until the end of this year, giving tenants a chance to receive their rental vouchers and giving city agencies a chance to investigate potential discrimination.

I also request a meeting with relevant agency staff as soon as possible, to best determine how we can work together to assist families in finding appropriate and affordable housing options.

Hurricane Sandy devastated the lives of thousands of families, and these 350 New Yorkers have suffered even more than most.  I look forward to working with you to do the right thing and move forward in the most thoughtful and compassionate way.

Sincerely,

Daniel Squadron
State Senator
26th Senate District


cc: Brad Gair, Director of Housing Recovery Operations, City of New York
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development
Cas Halloway, Deputy Mayor for Operations, City of New York

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