Proposed New York bill prohibits landlords from conducting background checks
A bill prohibiting New York landlords from conducting criminal background checks on potential tenants appears to be on the way to becoming law.
The “Fair Chance for Housing Act”, or Intro. 632, has the support of at least 30 of the city council’s 51 members, while Mayor Eric Adams (D) has signaled his willingness to sign the bill into law.
“No one should be denied housing because they’ve already been involved in the criminal justice system, plain and simple,” Adam’s spokesman Charles Lutvack said via the New York Post. “We will work closely with our City Council partners to ensure this bill has the maximum intended impact.”
From a summary of Intro. 632, the “Bill would prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, sales, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in New York, based on a criminal record or criminal record”.
“Owners, landlords, agents, employees and real estate brokers would be prohibited from obtaining criminal record information at any stage of the process,” the summary adds.
The bill was introduced by Councilman Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) and co-sponsored by President Adrienne Adams.
A similar version of this bill was proposed in 2020, but ultimately did not pass after receiving backlash from landlord advocacy groups. The Job noted that the legislation is gaining traction this time around due to the newly elected council members.
Similar to the previous version of the bill, the current version is receiving fierce opposition from critics who say it protects criminals instead of law-abiding landowners.
“Murdered someone? Beat your girlfriend? Fly? Stabbed your neighbor? No problem. Come live with us! tweeted Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (R-Brooklyn). “Say it @NYCConcil at vote NO!”
What’s on the Thanksgiving menu? A bill that would ban landlords from conducting criminal background checks on potential tenants. Murdered someone? Beat your girlfriend? Fly? Stabbed your neighbor? No problem. Come live with us! Say it @NYCConcil vote NO! pic.twitter.com/xgB2ePWprF
— Councilman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) November 24, 2022
Vernikov also posted a video accompanying the tweet, saying, “Make no mistake. If this bill passes, the safety of your families, your children, your grandparents, your grandchildren is at stake.”
The first public hearing of the bill will be presented to the Council’s Civil Rights Committee on December 8.
The bill comes at a time when crime in the Big Apple has skyrocketed more than 27% since this time last year, according to NYPD crime statistics.
Additionally, the state’s cashless bail law has allowed dozens of accused felons to roam the streets freely, despite the potential danger they pose to residents.
Breitbart News reported earlier this year that data from January 2020 to January 2021 reveals that more than four in ten suspects released from prison under New York’s cashless bail law are later rearrested for other crimes.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.