City Amps Up Fight Against Landlords Who Refuse Housing Vouchers

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The city has filed complaints against five large landlords for discriminating against New Yorkers who use housing vouchers to help pay the rent.

The city said Parkchester South Condominium and four other firms repeatedly refused to rent apartments to people like Edwin Perez. He and his 6-year-old daughter are doubled-up with his mom. He’s been looking for a place of their own since July, using Section 8.

“It really is just difficult,” he said. “I’ve contacted easily over 200 different apartment listings and I’ve gotten "no" every time.”

The five landlords together control 20,000 apartments. They face penalties of up to 250,000 dollars. An attorney for Parkchester declined to comment.

Carmelyn Malalis, head of the Commission on Human Rights, said the city has increased the number of investigations and complaints about discrimination based on income.

“We wanted to make sure that we were looking at specifically larger housing providers that had the ability to limit people because of just the sheer number of units that they had some sort of control over,” she said.