Housing activists give Cuomo ‘to do’ list before he leaves office

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Elaine Gross, president of ERASE Racism, and Baaba Halm, Vice President and New York Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners, called today on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign seven fair housing bills before leaving office on Tuesday, August 24.

They issued the following statement on behalf of their organizations as well as New York State Fair Housing Network:

“The 2021 New York State Legislative Session ended in June with passage of seven fair housing bills, each of which represents a significant step in reducing widespread housing discrimination in New York. All seven of the bills are on Governor Cuomo’s desk, awaiting his signature.

Governor Cuomo should sign all seven bills before he leaves office. Each of them is essential to combating housing discrimination across the state. Signing them will make them a part of his legacy. Failing to sign them will be a lasting statement that he can never undo.”

The seven bills – with brief descriptions – are these:

A05363 – Adds a surcharge for issuing or reissuing a real estate broker or salesperson license, which may then be used for statewide fair housing testing.

A05428 – Relates to establishing an obligation to affirmatively further fair housing by state departments, agencies or offices administering housing laws or housing programs and by any localities receiving state funds to administer programs and activities related to housing.

A06866 – Establishes the anti-discrimination in housing fund and allocates money to each county’s Fair Housing Commission for fair housing enforcement.

A06355 – Requires associate real estate brokers serving as real estate office managers to exercise supervision over other associate brokers and real estate salespersons.

A04638 – Requires real estate brokers and salespersons to receive implicit bias training as part of their license renewal process.

A05359 – Increases the required training for real estate brokers and real estate salespeople relating to fair housing laws and housing discrimination.

A06186 – Requires the standardization of real estate agent procedures and allows for a penalty to be imposed on any broker or salesperson who fails to comply, with the aim of eliminating disparate treatment in real estate sales.

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