New Report Underscores the need for Good Cause Eviction to Protect Black Renters
Today, Housing Justice for All, the Community Service Society, NYU’s Urban Democracy Lab, and Pratt Center for Community Development released a new report detailing how Black New Yorkers continue to face inequities when securing and maintaining permanent housing, following a press conference today in Albany. The report also offers solutions to these racial disparities by calling on the New York legislature to pass Good Cause Eviction.
The main findings of the report include:
- Black tenants in NYC are twice as likely as white tenants to have zero dollars in savings.
- Black households in New York are three times as likely to face eviction as white households.
- Across New York, evictions filed at higher rates in counties with high shares of Black renters.
“The civil rights movement resulted in the fair housing act of 1968 and as discrimination became apparent, that act was amended in 1988. But more than three decades later, we are in the midst of a housing crisis across the state because lawmakers refuse to accept that existing policies and practices perpetuate housing discrimination,” said Kim Smith, VOCAL-NY Political Director. “For the sake of ending homelessness and providing equitable housing, we must pass Good Cause Eviction and HAVP as soon as possible!”
“For too long, tenants in unregulated apartments throughout New York State, especially those from Black and Latinx communities, have lacked critical protections to defend against warrantless evictions and rent hikes,” said Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “On the last day of Black History Month, let's reaffirm our commitment toward ensuring that all New Yorkers, especially those most vulnerable, are able to stay in their homes. The Legal Aid Society calls on Albany to enact ‘Good Cause’, budget neutral legislation, without any further delay. Our clients deserve nothing less.”
"The legacy of red-lining and other racist housing policies live on today in laws that prioritize profits over the human right to decent housing." said Juanita Lewis, Executive Director of Community Voices Heard. "New York must pass Good Cause eviction as a necessary step toward undoing a century’s worth of state-sanctioned violations of the rights of Black and Latinx communities."
“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 David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society. “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.”
“Good Cause Eviction is due process for tenants. No one should lose their housing due to unfair rent hikes or for raising concerns about unhealthy or dangerous conditions.” said India Walton, Senior Advisor at the New York Working Families Party. “When all New Yorkers have safe and stable housing, our communities are better off. We urge our leaders in the State Legislature to pass these critical tenant protections."
“New Yorkers should live without fear of predatory evictions. 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,” said Lena Afridi, Interim Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, “Good cause eviction stabilizes communities for the long term and the legislature should pass this critical legislation.”
Good Cause Eviction is an important step in promoting community stability and combatting displacement, both because it would extend protections for renters, among whom Black New Yorkers are over represented, and bolster the state’s anti-discrimination laws.