A bill that would prohibit New York City landlords from conducting background checks of criminal records on potential tenants is going to be passed into law.
The “Fair Chance for Housing Act,” or Intro. 632, has the backing of at least 30 out of the city council's 51 members, and mayor Eric Adams (D) has expressed his willingness to sign the bill.
“No one should be denied housing because they were once engaged with the criminal justice system, plain and simple,” Adam's spokesman Charles Lutvack via the New York Post. “We will work closely with our partners in the City Council to ensure this bill has maximum intended impact.”
According to a synopsis of Intro. 632, the “bill would prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, sales, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in New York City, on the basis of arrest record or criminal history.”
“Landlords, owners, agents, employees, and real estate brokers would be prohibited from obtaining criminal record information at any stage in the process,” the report states.
This bill was sponsored by Councilman Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) and was co-sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adam.
Similar versions of the bill were introduced in 2020, but were not passed after facing backlash from the landlord groups. The Post noted that the legislation is getting more popular this time because of the newly elected council members.
Like the prior versions of this bill, the current version faces massive criticism from those who claim it shields illegal landowners and criminals rather than law-abiding property owners.
“Murdered someone? Have you beaten your partner? Robbed? Did you hit your neighbor? It's no problem. Come live among us!” tweeted Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (R-Brooklyn). “Tell the @NYCCouncil to vote NO!”
Vernikov also uploaded the video that accompanied the tweet in which he states, “Make no mistake. If this bill is passed, your family's safety and children, your grandparents, and your grandchildren are at risk.”
First public testimony of the bill will be held to the council's Committee on Civil Rights on the 8th of December.
The bill is enacted at a time when the crime rate in the Big Apple has skyrocketed by more than 27 percent since the beginning of last year, in accordance with NYPD crimes statistics.
Additionally, the state's cashless bail law permitted dozens of criminals accused of crimes to wander free on the streets, regardless of the threat they pose to the public.
Breitbart News published earlier this year that the data from January 2020 through January 2021 reveal that more than four of 10 suspects released from prison by New York's cashless bail law are then remanded in jail for different offenses.