Good morning. Here’s a glance at today’s opinion content:
Victory for fair housing: Editorial
In our editorial, we encourage Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to sign legislation passed earlier this week by the Legislature that prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their sources of income. We write:
“… Approved in a 10-4 vote Monday, the measure would prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental or lease of housing, based on the source of the applicant’s income — that is, ‘lawful, verifiable income from Social Security, or any form of federal, state or local public assistance or housing assistance,’ including Section 8 or disability payments. Violators would face fines up to $50,000; the figure was $100,000 in an earlier version of the bill. The measure would not bar refusals based on a person’s poor credit history, past problems paying rent, criminal history, and the landlord’s ‘reasonable business judgment.’ Co-op apartments, condos and certain housing under four units would be exempted. …
“… A 2001 federal Housing and Urban Development study found that the holders of Section 8 housing vouchers had a 12 percent higher placement rate in jurisdictions that have laws protecting against source-of-income discrimination; more than a dozen states and 17 cities have adopted such protections, including New York City. Prior to adoption in 2008 of source-of-income protections in New York City, 90 percent of landlords refused to accept Section 8 vouchers, according to one survey. Even months after the protections were adopted, a survey of Craigslist revealed some 1,543 postings — on a single day — indicating a limitation or discrimination against source of income, according to the Fair Housing Justice Center, based in Manhattan. The group recommended robust enforcement to eliminate such barriers.
“Those are clearly problems in search of solutions — solutions that are fair-minded, reasonable and necessary, particularly in a county with a documented history of official inattention to fair housing policies. County Executive Rob Astorino should make a clean break with the past and sign the new protections into law.”
Congratulations to Valhalla, Pearl River: Editorial
We congratulate the members of the Valhalla High School baseball team and the Pearl River High School softball team for their recent state championship victories.
Washington and BP: Davies cartoon
In today’s cartoon, Matt Davies explores the issue of culpability in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill,