senate Bill S124

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Directs the New York City Housing Authority to establish alternative requirements for domestic violence victim applications for N-1 priority in housing

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Apr 28, 2014 reported and committed to finance
Mar 10, 2014 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 08, 2014 referred to housing, construction and community development
Jan 09, 2013 referred to housing, construction and community development

Votes

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Apr 28, 2014 - Housing, Construction and Community Development committee Vote

S124
8
0
committee
8
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee Vote: Apr 28, 2014

aye wr (1)

Co-Sponsors

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S124 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2199
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Public Housing Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §402, Pub Hous L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S7851

S124 - Bill Texts

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Enacts the "survivor's accessing fair and equitable (SAFE) housing act"; directs the New York City Housing Authority to establish alternative requirements for domestic violence victim applications for N-1 priority in housing.

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BILL NUMBER:S124

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public housing law, in relation to directing the New York
City Housing Authority establish alternative requirements for the
qualification of domestic violence victims for N-1 priority access to
housing accommodations

PURPOSE:
Directs the New York City Housing Authority to establish alternative
requirements for domestic violence victim applications for N-1
priority housing.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 sets forth the bill's short title: The Survivor's Accessing
Fair and Equitable ("SAFE") Housing Act.

Section 2 creates anew, alternative application procedure for the New
York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) N-1 Priority Housing Program
for victims of domestic violence. The form is based on the No
Violence Again (NoVA) screening form used for temporary emergency
DV housing, supplemented by sworn attestations from the applicant and
qualified service provider.

Section 3 establishes the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The single best way to give meaningful, long-term help to the
survivors of domestic violence and their families is to provide them
with secure, permanent housing away from their abusers.
Studies demonstrate that obtaining shelter services leads to 60-70%
reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault. In fact, shelter
services led to a more significant reduction in severe reassault than
seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new
location. It has also been clearly demonstrated that victims often
return to their barterers when a viable option for permanent housing
cannot be found, yet private landlords regularly turn away
individuals who have orders of protection or other indications of
domestic violence.

The New York City Housing Authority's N-1 Priority Housing program is
intended to provide permanent housing for those individuals in the
most serious and imminent danger of repeated abuse. Unfortunately,
the existing documentation requirements for entry into the program
shut out many individuals who are most in need and serve to create a
perverse incentive where victims must put themselves back into harm's
way in order to qualify.

Currently, N-1 applicants must provide two pieces of official
documentation (such as a police report or order of protection)
arising out of two separate incidents of abuse. The desire to use
limited resources on those in the greatest danger is understandable;
however, on average, domestic violence is not reported for the first
time until the seventh incident of physical abuse and there is
perhaps no more dangerous time to return to one's abuser than


directly after making a police report or taking out an order of
protection. Consequently, the current requirements do not serve their
intended purpose and may force survivors of repeated abuse to put
themselves in grave, additional, and unnecessary danger in order to
obtain housing.

Additionally, many victims of domestic violence, primarily from
minority and immigrant communities, are unwilling or unable to go
through the official channels currently required.
There are any number of reasons those with the most desperate need may
not be able to qualify.
Applicants may be undocumented and fear adverse immigration
consequences from any police contact; they may not have reported the
most serious incidents for fear of retribution and find themselves
with insufficient official documentation; they may have fled their
abusers before filing a second report; they may have refused to
cooperate with police under duress, intimidation or for fear of
escalating the danger to themselves or their children. Whatever the
individual reasons may be, far too many survivors cannot meet the
current requirements for reasons that have nothing to do with the
severity of the abuse they have suffered or the imminence or
seriousness of the danger they face.

This legislation, the Survivors Accessing Fair and Equitable ("SAFE)
Housing Act, creates a new way for victims to apply for N-1 housing
without eliminating the current pathway for those who qualify. This
new application is a modified version of the No Violence Again (NoVA)
emergency housing form for temporary shelters, supplemented by sworn
attestations from the applicant and a qualified domestic violence
service provider saying that the applicant meets NYCHA's past abuse
and future danger requirements. This legislation will let the experts
dictate when emergency housing is necessary and help ensure that
endangered victims do not fall through the cracks on technicalities.

Domestic violence is a crime of extraordinary magnitude which affects
all New Yorkers across geographic, social and demographic lines. As a
society, we owe it to those survivors who overcome overwhelming odds
and break free from the cycle of violence to provide whatever help
and protection is in our power without erecting bureaucratic road
blocks in their paths. This commonsense legislation will make that
process more logical and inclusive while maintaining the original
intent of the N-1 program.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.7851

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                   124

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction  and
  Community Development

AN ACT to amend the public housing law, in relation to directing the New
  York City Housing Authority establish alternative requirements for the
  qualification  of domestic violence victims for N-1 priority access to
  housing accommodations

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

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "survivor's accessing fair and equitable (SAFE) housing act".
  S 2. Section 402 of the public housing law is amended by adding a  new
subdivision 6-a to read as follows:
  6-A. THE AUTHORITY SHALL ESTABLISH, WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION,  AN  ADDITIONAL ALTERNATIVE APPLICATION AND
REQUIREMENTS THEREFOR FOR GRANTING N-1 PRIORITY FOR ACCESS TO  AUTHORITY
HOUSING  ACCOMMODATIONS TO PERSONS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
SUCH REQUIREMENTS SHALL:
  A. BE BASED UPON THE NO VIOLENCE AGAIN SCREENING FORM  ESTABLISHED  BY
THE  HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, PROVIDED THAT SUCH FORM  MAY  BE  SUPERFICIALLY
ALTERED BY THE AUTHORITY FOR USE IN THE N-1 PRIORITY HOUSING PROGRAM;
  B. NOT REQUIRE SUBMISSION OF ANY ADDITIONAL, OUTSIDE DOCUMENTATION NOT
INCLUDED  IN  THE  NO  VIOLENCE  AGAIN  SCREENING FORM, EXCEPT THE SWORN
ATTESTATIONS OF THE APPLICANT  AND  SERVICE  PROVIDER  REQUIRED  BY  THE
PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS E, F AND G OF THIS SUBDIVISION;
  C.  NOT  BE CONTINGENT UPON ANY ADDITIONAL QUANTITATIVE OR QUALITATIVE
ANALYSIS OR RATING OF THE CONTENTS OF THE  MODIFIED  NO  VIOLENCE  AGAIN
SCREENING FORM BY THE AUTHORITY;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00309-01-3

S. 124                              2

  D.  PROVIDE THAT THE APPLICATION AND REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT
TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE AN ALTERNATIVE, EQUAL  MEANS,  IN  ADDITION
TO,  NOT AS A REPLACEMENT OF ANY OTHER MEANS ESTABLISHED BY THE AUTHORI-
TY, FOR GRANTING N-1 PRIORITY FOR ACCESS TO AUTHORITY  HOUSING  ACCOMMO-
DATIONS TO PERSONS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE;
  E.  REQUIRE THE APPLICANT TO SWEAR, UNDER THE PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT
HE OR SHE HAS SUFFERED SERIOUS OR REPEATED ABUSE FROM A  FAMILY  MEMBER,
OR A PERSON HE OR SHE HAD OR CONTINUES TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP,
AND AS THE RESULT OF SUCH ABUSE, THE APPLICANT HAS SUFFERED ACTUAL PHYS-
ICAL  INJURY  OR  THE  THREAT OF PHYSICAL INJURY, AND HE OR SHE (I) WILL
CONTINUE TO SUFFER ABUSE IF THE APPLICANT CONTINUES TO LIVE  IN  HIS  OR
HER  CURRENT  RESIDENCE,  OR  (II)  HAS LEFT HIS OR HER RESIDENCE DUE TO
ABUSE AND IS NOT LIVING IN STANDARD PERMANENT REPLACEMENT HOUSING;
  F. REQUIRE ATTESTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  SERVICE  PROVIDERS  TO  SWEAR,
UNDER  THE PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT IN HIS OR HER PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT,
BASED ON DUE DILIGENCE,  THAT  AN  APPLICANT  HAS  SUFFERED  SERIOUS  OR
REPEATED ABUSE FROM A FAMILY MEMBER, OR A PERSON WITH WHOM THE APPLICANT
HAD  OR  CONTINUES  TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP, AND AS A RESULT OF
SUCH ABUSE, THE APPLICANT HAS SUFFERED ACTUAL  PHYSICAL  INJURY  OR  THE
THREAT  OF  PHYSICAL INJURY, AND SUCH APPLICANT IS AT A SUBSTANTIAL RISK
OF FURTHER ABUSE WITHOUT ACCESS TO SAFE, PERMANENT HOUSING; AND
  G. REQUIRE EACH ATTESTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE PROVIDER TO SWEAR,
UNDER THE PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT HE OR SHE IS A MEMBER OR EMPLOYEE  OF
AN ORGANIZATION THAT RECEIVES CITY OF NEW YORK, STATE OR FEDERAL FUNDING
FOR  THE  PROVISION  OF  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES. PROVIDED, THAT, ANY
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE PROVIDER OR OTHER  SOCIAL  SERVICES  PROVIDER,
WHICH  IS  NOT  SO FUNDED, MAY APPLY TO THE APPLICATIONS DIVISION OF THE
AUTHORITY FOR AUTHORIZATION TO ACT AS  AN  ATTESTING  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE
SERVICE PROVIDER ON N-1 PRIORITY APPLICATIONS.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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