NEW YORK — There are currently 11,000 New Yorkers living in homeless shelters who have vouchers that would pay for them to rent an apartment. Many say landlords turn them away because of the stigma associated with voucher programs like Section 8.
“This is a common complaint that we hear from clients that we serve in the shelter system,” explained Jacquelyn Simone from the Coalition for the Homeless.
New legal challenges are pressing landlord to follow the law. Thousands of low income and homeless New Yorkers receive vouchers to cover their rent through federal and local programs.
In New York City it is illegal to turn down a tenant simply because they are in a voucher program.
The Coalition for the Homeless says housing voucher discrimination “can be overt such as saying we don’t take programs, we don’t take vouchers, or sometimes it's a little bit harder to detect.”
Anyone who was denied housing because of a voucher can report the discrimination by calling 3-1-1.