Politico Highlights Source of Income Discrimination
Politico released an expose on source of income discrimination, and the city's response to such pervasive challenges in the housing market. Interviews with Department of Social Service (DSS) Commissioner Steve Banks and former City Council speaker Christina Quinn, as well as public advocates reveal the tensions between different stakeholders on the issue.
While city officials are doing their best with what resources are made available within the scope of the law, advocates urge that more could be done. DSS is quick to point out that 61,000 people have moved out of shelters with vouchers since 2015, however programs like the Living in Communities (LINC) vouchers have only had a 27% success rate since 2015; a reality that strikes a more discordant note.
Advocates like those from New York City Homeless Union (NYCHU) point out that if the city properly acknowledges source of income discrimination as a barrier to housing with stronger enforcement of the Human Rights Law from executive agencies, we could see a significant drop in homelessness in a matter of months. NYCHU's rally on May 16 brought attention to the fact that in DeBlasio's proposed budget, he cut $1.7 million from the City's Commission on Human Rights, one of two government agencies dedicated to protecting voucher holders from source of income discrimination. While the administration was quick to respond that cuts would not effect the Source of Income Unit at the Commission, advocates are more concerned that the city is not prioritizing solutions and resources to a growing problem that keeps so many out of housing.
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