Bill Text: NY A04991 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes an innocent tenant protection act applicable to tenants of public and federally assisted housing; prevents honest, hardworking family members from being evicted when other family members are involved in illegal acts.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-06 - referred to housing [A04991 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A04991-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          4991
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 6, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. TITUS, COOK -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
          GLICK, GOTTFRIED, LAVINE, PERRY, RIVERA, L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Housing
        AN ACT to amend the  real  property  actions  and  proceedings  law,  in
          relation  to  requiring that certain public housing authorities estab-
          lish an innocent tenant protection act applicable to tenants of public
          and federally assisted housing
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds that it is imper-
     2  ative  that  the  forty-nine  public  housing  authorities  in the state
     3  provide that any criminal activities that threaten the health, safety or
     4  right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises, engaged in by a  tenant  of
     5  public or federally assisted housing, and members of the tenants' house-
     6  hold,  or any guest or other person under the tenants' control, shall be
     7  cause for termination of tenancy. The legislature further finds that law
     8  abiding tenants are vulnerable to "One-Strike" evictions given the poli-
     9  cy's breadth and the United States Supreme Court's  decision  in  United
    10  States Department of Housing and Urban Development v.  Davis. Anyone who
    11  leases  public or assisted housing is a potential target of "One-Strike"
    12  evictions. It is of little consequence that a tenant may be law abiding,
    13  despise drug activity or have made his or her home a drug-free  environ-
    14  ment.  Any  link to guest or family members involved in drug activity on
    15  or off the public housing premises can trigger eviction.  Therefore  the
    16  legislature  finds  the  adoption  of  an innocent tenant protection act
    17  vital to law abiding tenants of public and federally assisted housing in
    18  New York state.
    19    § 2. The real property actions  and  proceedings  law  is  amended  by
    20  adding a new section 711-a to read as follows:
    21    §  711-a. Innocent tenant protection. 1. Each public housing authority
    22  and owners of federally assisted  housing  shall  utilize  leases  which
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05860-01-9

        A. 4991                             2
     1  provide  that any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or
     2  right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises,  engaged  in  by  a  public
     3  housing  or federally assisted housing tenant or any drug related crimi-
     4  nal  activity  on or off such premises engaged in by a public housing or
     5  federally assisted housing tenant, any member of the tenant's household,
     6  or any guest or other person under the tenant's control, shall be  cause
     7  for  termination,  except that no tenancy of an innocent lessee shall be
     8  terminated pursuant to this section.
     9    2. The burden of proof shall be on the government to  establish  by  a
    10  preponderance  of  the  evidence  that  such  tenant engaged in criminal
    11  activity as described in subdivision one of this section.
    12    3. For purposes of this section the term  "innocent  lessee"  means  a
    13  lessee who:
    14    (a)  did not know of the criminal activity giving rise to the possible
    15  termination of tenancy; or
    16    (b) upon hearing of the conduct giving rise  to  the  possible  termi-
    17  nation  of  the tenancy, did all that reasonably could be expected under
    18  the circumstances to terminate the criminal activity.   For purposes  of
    19  this  subdivision,  ways in which a person may show that such person did
    20  all that reasonably could be expected  may  include  demonstrating  that
    21  such  person, to the extent allowed by law: (i) gave timely notice to an
    22  appropriate law enforcement agency of information that led the tenant to
    23  know the conduct giving rise to a possible termination of tenancy  would
    24  occur  or  had  occurred;  or (ii) in a timely fashion revoked or made a
    25  good faith attempt to revoke  permission  for  those  engaging  in  such
    26  conduct  to use the property, or took reasonable actions in consultation
    27  with a law enforcement agency to discourage or prevent the  illegal  use
    28  of the property.
    29    4.  A  tenant  is not required by subdivision three of this section to
    30  take steps that the  person  reasonably  believes  would  be  likely  to
    31  subject any person, other than the person whose conduct gave rise to the
    32  possible termination of tenancy, to physical danger.
    33    § 3. (a) Within six months of the effective date of this act and after
    34  granting  notice  and an opportunity to comment to affected tenants, the
    35  executive directors of the public  housing  authorities  and  owners  of
    36  federally assisted housing shall review the drug-related eviction proce-
    37  dures  of  all  jurisdictions  having federally subsidized units for the
    38  purpose of determining whether procedures meet state due process  stand-
    39  ards.
    40    (b)  Upon conclusion of the review mandated by subdivision (a) of this
    41  section, if the executive directors of public housing authorities or the
    42  owners of federally assisted housing determine that due  process  stand-
    43  ards  are  met for a jurisdiction, such directors and owners shall issue
    44  such jurisdiction a waiver of the procedure that mandates an administra-
    45  tive grievance hearing.
    46    (c) Within sixty days of the completion  of  the  review  mandated  by
    47  subdivision  (a)  of this section, the executive directors of the public
    48  housing authorities and  owners  of  federally  assisted  housing  shall
    49  report  to the mayors in those cities where such housing authorities and
    50  owners are under the auspices of that  government  body  or  county,  or
    51  state body of government, the findings of the review including all waiv-
    52  ers  granted  in  accordance  with  subdivision (b) of this section. The
    53  tenancy of a tenant of a public housing authority or federally  assisted
    54  housing  shall not be terminated without cause and without reason there-
    55  for given to said tenant in writing  prior  to  such  housing  authority

        A. 4991                             3
     1  and/or  federally  assisted housing filing an action for summary process
     2  or seeking an injunction.
     3    §  4.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
     4  have become a law.
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