senate Bill S2185

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence

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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
Jan 08, 2014 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 14, 2013 referred to investigations and government operations

S2185 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A644
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§292 & 296, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S498, A9154
2009-2010: S936, A1055

S2185 - Bill Texts

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Prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence relating to housing, including but not limited to, the purchase, rent or lease of a 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 NUMBER:S2185

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 discrimi-
nation 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 defi-
nition of "domestic violence victim" is added.

JUSTIFICATION: Homelessness among domestic violence victims is a
significant problem, which can prevent such victims, who axe 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 hous-
ing. 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 justi-
fied 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 2011 Investigations and Govern-
ment Operations 2012 Investigations and Government Operations

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The act shall take effect immediately upon enactment.

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

                                  2185

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2013
                               ___________

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.
  (c) To cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concern-
ing  the  race, creed, color, disability, national origin, sexual orien-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01040-01-3

S. 2185                             2

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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