Bill Text: NY A02361 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates the incentivizing habitability opportunity program; provides that each local social services district shall provide an incentive to owners who enter into a residential lease or rental agreement with an eligible household for a qualified dwelling unit in order to address homelessness and ensure appropriate habitability standards.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 18-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-19 - referred to social services [A02361 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A02361-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          2361

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    January 19, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  HEVESI, LUPARDO, AUBRY, ENGLEBRIGHT, SAYEGH,
          REYES, J. RIVERA, D. ROSENTHAL, GOTTFRIED, EPSTEIN, COOK, SIMON, FAHY,
          BARRON, HUNTER, SEAWRIGHT, FRONTUS, MANKTELOW,  L. ROSENTHAL  --  read
          once and referred to the Committee on Social Services

        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to establishing the
          incentivizing habitability opportunity program

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Article 2-A of the social services law is amended by adding
     2  a new title 5 to read as follows:
     3                                   TITLE 5
     4               INCENTIVIZING HABITABILITY OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM

     5  Section 53. Landlord incentive for homeless shelters.
     6    § 53. Landlord incentive for homeless shelters.  1.    Notwithstanding
     7  any  other  provision of law to the contrary, each local social services
     8  district shall provide an incentive to owners who enter into a  residen-
     9  tial  lease  or rental agreement with an eligible household for a quali-
    10  fied dwelling unit in order to address homelessness and ensure appropri-
    11  ate habitability standards in accordance with this section.
    12    2. For the purposes of this section: (a)  "homeless"  shall  mean  the
    13  lack  of  a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; exiting an
    14  institution where they  resided  and  will  lack  a  regular  fixed  and
    15  adequate  nighttime residence upon release or discharge; having received
    16  a court order resulting from an eviction action that notifies the  indi-
    17  vidual  or  family  that  they  must leave their housing; facing loss of
    18  housing due to hazardous conditions, including but not limited to asbes-
    19  tos, lead exposure, mold, and radon; or, fleeing, or attempting to flee,
    20  domestic violence, dating  violence,  sexual  assault,  stalking,  human
    21  trafficking  or  other  dangerous  or  life-threatening  conditions that
    22  relate to violence against the individual or a family  member,  provided

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01503-01-1

        A. 2361                             2

     1  further  that  a written attestation from an individual or family member
     2  alleging such abuse and loss of housing shall be sufficient to establish
     3  eligibility.
     4    (b)  "eligible  household" shall mean an individual or family eligible
     5  for or receiving public assistance that is homeless as defined  by  this
     6  section.  A household's eligibility shall not be affected by an individ-
     7  ual's sanction status.
     8    (c) "habitability standard" shall mean the housing  quality  standards
     9  for  safe  and  habitable housing which are established by local housing
    10  codes that meet or exceed housing quality standards,  so  long  as  such
    11  standards do not severely restrict housing choice.
    12    (d)  "qualified  dwelling  unit"  shall mean a unit that (i) meets the
    13  necessary habitability standards as defined  in  this  subdivision;  and
    14  (ii)  the  owner satisfies all the necessary requirements as required by
    15  subdivision three of this section.
    16    3. (a) Each local social services district shall provide an  incentive
    17  in  accordance with subdivision four of this section, to eligible owners
    18  that enter into a residential lease or rental agreement with an eligible
    19  household for a qualified dwelling unit, as defined in  subdivision  one
    20  of this section. For an owner to be eligible to receive an incentive for
    21  a  qualified  dwelling  unit,  the owner of the dwelling unit shall: (i)
    22  enter into a residential lease or rental agreement  in  accordance  with
    23  paragraph (b) of this subdivision with an eligible household for a peri-
    24  od  of  not  less than one year and (ii) ensure that upon inspection, as
    25  required by paragraph (c) of this subdivision, the dwelling  unit  meets
    26  and  maintains the necessary habitability standards as defined in subdi-
    27  vision one of this section throughout the period of the lease.
    28    (b) (i) The residential lease or rental agreement entered into between
    29  the eligible owner of the  qualified  dwelling  unit  and  the  eligible
    30  household  shall  be  consistent with all applicable state and local law
    31  and contain all appropriate provisions applicable to tenants of a dwell-
    32  ing unit which does not  qualify  for  an  incentive  pursuant  to  this
    33  section.
    34    (ii)  The  owner  shall  not  terminate such lease or rental agreement
    35  except for good cause, such as serious or  repeated  violations  of  the
    36  terms  and conditions of the lease or rental agreement, or for violation
    37  of applicable state, or local law.
    38    (iii) Prior to terminating a residential  lease  or  rental  agreement
    39  pursuant  to this section, and in addition to any other notices required
    40  by law, written notice shall be provided to the eligible household spec-
    41  ifying the grounds for such termination, and  any  relief  that  may  be
    42  available which is consistent with applicable state and local law.
    43    (iv)  The  lease  or  rental agreement shall be renewed unless (1) the
    44  owner or a member of the owner's immediate family  needs  the  apartment
    45  for  their  personal use and primary residence, (2) the apartment is not
    46  used as the tenant's primary residence, or (3) the owner wants  to  take
    47  the apartment off the rental market, either to demolish the building for
    48  reconstruction  or  use  it  for other purposes permitted by law. If the
    49  owner is not renewing the lease for any of the above reasons, the  owner
    50  must notify the eligible household in writing at least ninety days prior
    51  to the end of the existing lease.
    52    (c) (i) Prior to providing the owner of an eligible dwelling unit with
    53  an  incentive  as  authorized  by  this section, the commissioner shall,
    54  either directly or through a contract  with  a  not-for-profit,  inspect
    55  each  dwelling  unit  prior to the owner entering into a new residential
    56  lease or rental agreement with an eligible household, anytime the eligi-

        A. 2361                             3

     1  ble household transfers to a new unit with the owner and annually there-
     2  after in instances when the lease or rental agreement extends  beyond  a
     3  year.  Such  dwelling  unit  shall  be required to be inspected prior to
     4  every  new  residential  lease  or rental agreement that is entered into
     5  with an eligible household, for so long as the owner seeks to receive an
     6  incentive pursuant to this section. Upon inspection,  the  local  social
     7  services district, shall ensure that the dwelling unit meets the habita-
     8  bility standard, as defined in this section.
     9    (ii) No such incentive shall be provided if the dwelling unit fails to
    10  meet  all  the necessary requirements of the habitability standard. Such
    11  prorate share of the incentive shall be withheld until the  owner  makes
    12  all the necessary changes required to meet the habitability standard and
    13  passes a follow up inspection. To the extent that the owner can show the
    14  violations  were caused by a member of the eligible household, the owner
    15  may be provided an extension to fix the cited violations and  be  re-in-
    16  spected  in  an  appropriate  period of time, as determined by the local
    17  social services district.
    18    (iii) Any time during the lease or rental agreement, a  member  of  an
    19  eligible  household  may  request  an  additional  inspection, citing an
    20  owner's failure to maintain habitability standards, as required by  this
    21  section.
    22    (iv)  Each  local  social  services  district shall maintain a written
    23  record detailing the inspections and re-inspections  for  each  dwelling
    24  unit  for  the  period of the eligible household's tenancy and for three
    25  years subsequent to the end of such tenancy and shall make  the  records
    26  available upon request to the state comptroller.
    27    4.  (a) Each local social services district shall provide an incentive
    28  to the owner of a qualifying dwelling unit, that meets all the necessary
    29  requirements specified in subdivision  three  of  this  section,  in  an
    30  amount  equal  to five hundred dollars for every eligible individual and
    31  one thousand dollars for every eligible family. The  incentive  will  be
    32  paid  to  the owner on a monthly basis. The incentive shall be issued by
    33  the local social services district directly to the owner of  the  quali-
    34  fied dwelling unit.
    35    (b)  The  incentive  shall  be  provided to the owner of the qualified
    36  dwelling unit (i) during the period of the eligible household's tenancy;
    37  (ii) until the date the eligible household vacates the qualified  dwell-
    38  ing  unit prior to the expiration date of the lease or rental agreement;
    39  or (iii) until the effective date of the notice of eviction received  by
    40  the eligible household issued pursuant to a court proceeding.
    41    (c)  In  the event that the owner of the eligible dwelling unit wrong-
    42  fully and/or prematurely terminates the lease in violation of applicable
    43  state or local law, the owner shall reimburse the local social  services
    44  district the amount of the incentive provided to date.
    45    § 2. Section 153 of the social services law is amended by adding a new
    46  subdivision 18 to read as follows:
    47    18.  Notwithstanding  any  other provision of law to the contrary, one
    48  hundred percent of costs for incentives required by section  fifty-three
    49  of  this  chapter  shall  be  subject  to reimbursement by the state, as
    50  follows:
    51    (a) by federal funds that can be properly  applied  to  such  expendi-
    52  tures; and
    53    (b) the remainder to be paid by state funds.
    54    § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    55  it shall have become a law.
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