New York City Commission on Human Rights held in April 29, 2020 a virtual town hall to discuss fair housing amid covid – 19. Five panelists from diverse agencies that educate communities and enforce anti-discrimination law, gave specific information regarding the city Human Right Law with a focus on protection and housing.
“Today we like to share with communities the awesome resources on protection and rights when it comes to housing in New York City,” said Sam Yang who is the housing liaison at NYC Commission on Human Rights.
In addition to housing, New York City Human Right Law embraces many subjects. Kajori Chaudhuri assistant commissioner at NYC Commission on Human Rights has stated: “In New York City no one can be discriminated because of who you are, where you come from, and who you love.”
Covid – 19 has impacted our lives in different ways. However, our rights remain the same. “ Our rights and obligations still remain intact in time like that,” Ms. Kajori said.
Talking about housing, Jessica Hurd said that no one can evict you unless they have a judge order. She has also mentioned that because of covid – 19 nobody goes to court actually until June 28, 2020. However, she said that judges keep hearing cases related to emergency repairs. One can file indeed cases related to emergency issues.
According to Dustin Frankel, a supervising attorney, housing and public accommodations, “ everyone can face discrimination regarding your citizenship, age, color, disability, gender, religion, race, income, pregnancy…” He said that the City Human Rights Law protects people against those discriminations.
When you face those situations in New York City, remember you are not alone. You can file a case if you find yourselves trapping in one of those situations.
“ if you are facing eviction because you are employee and get sick with covid – 19, you have covid – 19 and are home – quarantine, you are section 8 voucher, you are at risk of domestic violence during home – quarantine , contact us at NYC.gov / tenants protection and click ‘ contact us,’ “ said Greta Aiken a tenant organizer. You can also call 311.
Covid – 19 is not over yet. According to William Owh, senior program officer at NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the department “still enforces business law, issues licenses, and empowers New Yorkers to reach their financial goal.”
The department is also helping people to pull their credit report, to develop a plan to reach their personal goal, to asses their progress, to support them in setting and reaching any new goal, and to file tax. The department is also taking care in situations like student loans. All those services are remotely available and free. You can book an appointment at NYC.gov/dca.
Bazona Barnabe Bado