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August 27, 2008

Foreclosures Evict Positive Renters in New York

At least 50 HIV-positive New York renters during the past several months have complained to city housing organizations after being forced out of their homes or evicted due to foreclosures, The New York Times reports.

Due to high rental rates, insufficient antidiscrimination laws and inadequate public benefits, positive renters are often left with few housing options and a housing search that may last as long as one year.

According to the Times, the City Council amended the city’s housing code in March, which made it illegal for landlords to discriminate against recipients of federal, state or local housing benefits, such as Section 8 or the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA). However, the amendment only applies to buildings with six units or more, not private homes, and does not penalize those who violate it.

“There are no consequences, no monetary fines,” said case manager Hannah Thorne of Housing Works, a New York City-based AIDS service organization that provides housing assistance. “We look for apartments with clients, and the landlords say, ‘No programs, no programs, no programs.’”

Search: Housing Works, New York, renters, foreclosures, discrimination

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