Real estate website launches new tool to help protect New York City renters
With rents rising, and eviction moratoriums soon to expire, renters across New York City have every right to be scared. Now StreetEasy, an app that lists real estate and connects tenets with landlords, has introduced a new feature to help New Yorkers know their rights as renters and report instances of discrimination.
“Our goal is to make the process of shopping for a new home smoother for all New Yorkers, regardless of how they pay for that home,” said Caroline Burton, VP & General Manager of StreetEasy.
According to StreetEasy, as many as 26% of New York City renters don’t fully know their rights. The site aims to change that by making these rights clear, easy to find on their app, and available to all.
Another major focus of the app is to allow New Yorkers to report income discrimination by landlords. Drops in rent and high inventory levels have meant the number of homes available to Section 8 Voucher holders has doubled. Section 8 vouchers, issued by the Public Housing Authority, meaning that the state pays the majority of the holders’ rent and utility costs, and allows lower-income residents to find suitable homes; discrimination against voucher holders has been illegal in New York City since 2009. Too few, however, know this.
“Housing is a human right, yet far too many low-income New Yorkers are unable to find a place to live,” said Alyssa Aguilera, Co-Executive Director at VOCAL-NY, a grassroots social justice organization. “This new tool from StreetEasy will help get the word out that source of income discrimination is illegal – and we hope it will help homeless New Yorkers find the homes they deserve.”