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!
Urge your elected officials to provide public restrooms and safe shelters
The coronavirus pandemic has cruelly reinforced the fact that housing is health care. Without the basic safety and privacy provided by stable housing, tens of thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness have endured compounding risks for contracting and dying from COVID-19.
Months into the pandemic, the City is still failing to adequately protect homeless New Yorkers. People who are sleeping unsheltered on the streets face a dire lack of access to bathrooms where they can fulfill basic human functions and follow public health guidance to wash their hands regularly. Meanwhile, after the City finally moved many homeless adults out of crowded dorm-style shelters and into hotel rooms in order to protect them from the virus, Mayor de Blasio has recently indicated that he might move those people back into congregate shelters prematurely.
Protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and respecting their humanity must be our top priority throughout the pandemic. This is a moral imperative as well as a public health necessity: Our failure to give homeless New Yorkers the basic tools they need to live and function jeopardizes the progress New York City has made in combating the virus. Contact your elected officials now to urge them to provide public restrooms for people on the streets, and to resist the misguided and short-sighted calls to move people back into congregate shelters before it is safe to do so.
This year, Project: Back to School is asking for monetary donations so that we can purchase and fill more than 2,500 NEW backpacks with essential supplies for schoolkids living in shelters. A simple donation will allow us to provide these critical items to homeless students throughout the five boroughs.
Please consider making a gift here. Just $20 will allow us to provide one child with a backpack full of school supplies.