NYC City Councilman Keith Power has re-introduced a bill, Intro 632-2022, to ban the use of criminal background checks in rental & sale applications. This bill is supported by both Councilmembers Jordan and Ayala.
You can participate in VoterVoice to voice your opinion (for or against) bill, Intro. 632. VoterVoice will allow you to send messages directly to your Council representative:
You can read a bill summary and view sponsors here:
Letter From Fordham Hill to HNBA
The Fordham Hill Owners Corporation (a majority Black homeowners group in the Bronx that has worked with HNBA on the issue of oversaturation) sent the following to HNBA, regarding the proposed ‘No Criminal Background Checks’ bill, Intro 632-2022:
I hope you all enjoyed a peaceful and safe holiday with your loved ones. It has been some time since we communicated. I am reaching out to you all in regard to another battle I ask you to join the fight on as we continue to try to take back our city that is being destabilized right in front of our eyes.
By now you all have probably heard of the Fair Chance Housing Bill that the progressive wing of the New York City Council is aggressively trying to get passed. An earlier version of the bill died in another Council committee at the end of last year when bill creator Councilmember Kevin Powers introduced it. He has now found an audience in the City Council to actually move this bill forward.
What is so scary about this bill is it is just like bail reform; it is not fully thought through. This bill seeks to protect criminal offenders but doesn’t take families or law abiding citizens into consideration. This isn’t about redemption, for me I am all about rehabilitation and second chances, but this is once again about elected officials not engaging their constituency before passing legislation.
This isn’t just troubling for landlords and all of us but also for condos and cooperatives that have been formed by visionaries to create living quarters, an investment that provides the quality of life that has often been lacking for many working and middle class in this gilded city. Especially for people of color, a co-op like Fordham Hill Owners Corporation, offers our shareholders an opportunity to acquire an asset that they can safely call their home and gain equity.
Here are several troubling callouts about this bill:
- Criminal background checks on sex offenders is only regulated to New York State. If you are an out of state offender and seek residence in NYS you will go undetected.
- Murder, attempted murder, robbery, and other unethical white color crimes will be hidden from the view of landloards and boards.
- There is no probationary clause in the bill that model behavior has to be proven. (For instance 7-10 years of no offence and providing work/school history since entry back into society).
- Modestly priced coops and rentals (often in communities of color) will most likely receive more of these applicants making us more vulnerable.
For those that haven’t seen the bill please see it below:https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5755059&GUID=1081D9A0-5626-4DE4-BB6A-142AB373A4AF
I am not sure among us what position is being taken and who has galvanized their communities. Feel free to reach out to me.
Communities and organizations can testify next Thursday, December 8 at 10:00 am at the Civil Rights Committee. Please register to speak at https://council.nyc.gov/testify/Please organize your communities to reach out to your council members. Elections are coming up so we do have leverage here. Let’s join together and try to pull a victory out of this one. We at least can make the City Council go back and make the proper modifications to this bill.
Marcus Garvey Park Tree Lighting
On Thursday, December 8th, at 5 PM, bring your family and neighbors to meet at 124th Street and 5th Avenue to celebrate Marcus Garvey Park’s tree lighting ceremony and multi-cultural celebration: