ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Four New York organizations are calling for the state to pass a good cause eviction and housing access voucher program (HAVP). They said two-thirds of the state’s Black renters face a higher probability of being evicted than whites and Latino renters.
Albany, Hudson, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie already have good cause eviction laws on the books, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Good cause eviction laws make it more difficult for tenants to be evicted or not have their lease renewed.
Albany’s law, for example, says a landlord must have a significant reason for not renewing a tenant’s lease or raising the rent an “unconscionable” amount. Hudson adopted a similar good cause eviction law.
The Community Service Society, Housing Justice for All, New York University’s Urban Democracy Lab, and Pratt Center for Community Development highlighted the reasons why a good cause eviction and HAVP should be passed in a report looking at Black renter statistics. The report showed:
- Black tenants in New York City are two times as likely as white tenants to have zero dollars in savings
- Black households in the state are three times more likely than white households to face eviction
- Statewide evictions are filed at higher rates in counties with a higher number of Black renters
The report said four million tenants in the state could benefit from a good cause eviction law. The table below shows 10 counties that house a greater percentage of Black renters, the number of evictions filed between 2020-2021, and the number of households that could benefit from good cause eviction laws. It also shows the percentage of renters facing eviction in the county.
“New Yorkers should live without fear of predatory evictions,” said Interim Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, Lena Afridi. “New York has a responsibility to undo legacies of historic disinvestment and systemic discrimination by passing policies that protect the most vulnerable tenants from the risk of displacement. Good cause eviction stabilizes communities for the long-term and the legislature should pass this critical legislation.”
A Good Cause Eviction bill was introduced by Assemblymember Pam Hunter and Sen. Julia Salazar. It prevents eviction without a good cause and prevents rent from being raised an unreasonable amount (3% higher than the previous rent amount or 1.5% of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is higher).
“Our research shows that New York State’s Black renters are facing rising eviction pressures, are likely to experience discrimination from landlords, and are in danger of displacement when neighborhoods gentrify,” said President and CEO of the Community Service Society, David R. Jones. “We urge the legislature to pass good cause eviction protection this session, to add a measure of much-needed stability to the lives of Black renters, protect Black communities from systematic displacement, and empower tenants to demand their rights to safe living conditions.”