Urge the City Council to Pass Intro. 2047

Permanent, stable housing is an essential foundation to help people reentering society after incarceration, but many landlords refuse to rent homes to anyone who has been convicted, regardless of the severity of the offense. This discrimination disproportionately affects Black and Latinx New Yorkers.

Coalition for the Homeless is part of the Fair Chance for Housing Campaign, a broad coalition of individuals and organizations who believe that housing is a human right, and that allowing justice-involved people equal access to safe and stable housing strengthens our communities.

The Fair Chance for Housing Act, Intro. 2047, would prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in New York City on the basis of arrest or conviction record. Landlords and real estate brokers would be prohibited from doing background checks or inquiring about arrest or conviction record information at any stage in the application process. This would help our neighbors access stable housing and get back on their feet. A conviction record should be a history, not a life sentence.

Please click the button below to easily email your Council Member and urge them to pass Intro. 2047, the Fair Chance for Housing Act!

Your Rights as a Voter

Can I vote without a permanent address?

YES! In 1984, Coalition for the Homeless filed the lawsuit Pitts v. Black, which guaranteed the right to vote for homeless New Yorkers living in shelters, on the streets, or in welfare hotels.

What do I need when I go to vote?

Nothing. Arrive at your poll site between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on June 22nd for the primary election. As long as you registered to vote before the May 28th deadline, you do not need to show identification in order to vote. To ensure your vote is counted, you should vote in the election district where you are registered and confirm your poll site before election day. Voters can also participate in early voting between June 12th and June 20th, but the poll site for early voting may be different. For more information about your poll site, contact the NYC Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC or visit vote.nyc.

This spring, all New York voters can vote by mail due to the risk of contracting the coronavirus. You can select “Temporary illness or disability” as the reason for your request. You can apply for an absentee ballot by June 15th online at vote.nyc or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC. You must postmark or drop off your absentee ballot by June 22nd.

What should I do when I enter the poll site?

At the poll site, you will see tables and voting machines set up for your election district and others. At the table for your district, you will be asked to sign next to a facsimile of your signature on an alphabetized, computerized polling list. If your name does not appear on the roster, ask for an affidavit or paper ballot.

Can I vote if I was incarcerated for a felony conviction or am currently on parole?

If you were incarcerated for a felony conviction and have finished your sentence: Your rights have been reinstated and you are eligible to register and vote in this year’s elections. You can vote while on parole.

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank up to five candidates by preference instead of choosing just one. Starting in 2021, New York City voters will have the option to rank their top five candidates in our local primary and special elections for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and City Council. Learn more at RankTheVoteNYC.org.

What if I have trouble trying to vote?

If your name does not appear on the computerized polling list or you are told that you are not eligible to vote, ask for an affidavit or paper ballot. After June 22nd, the Board of Elections will check its records, and your vote will be counted if you are indeed eligible to vote. If not, you will receive a notice that you are not eligible, along with a registration application for future elections. You may also call one of the numbers listed below for assistance on the day of the election.

For more information or assistance, contact:

NYC Board of Elections: 1-866-VOTE-NYC (toll-free)
NY Attorney General Election Hotline: 1-800-771-7755
Coalition for the Homeless: 212-776-2003

NYC Touts Drop in Street Homelessness, But Advocates Say Count Obscures Extent of Crisis

Mayor Bill de Blasio touted a significant decrease in the number of people identified in its annual street homeless count—but advocates caution that a spike in enforcement, and a new census methodology, likely obscure the true extent of the crisis.

The city’s annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) count identified 2,376 different New Yorkers bedding down in public places between Jan. 26th and 29th, compared to 3,857 on Jan. 27, 2020, according to results released Thursday. The number marks a 38 percent decrease, including a 23 percent drop in the subway system.