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Housing Voucher Discrimination Plagues LAS Client Facing Eviction

Queens resident Derek Hines and his two children are facing eviction and they’re against the clock to find a new home before he’s served with a marshal’s notice, which would mean he and his children have two weeks to vacate the apartment or be forcibly removed.

While Mr. Hines has contacted over 150 brokers and agents in the past year, he runs into the same obstacle over and over again, according to the Queens Daily Eagle. At first, landlords seem interested in renting to him, but they stop returning his calls and messages once they learn he has a housing voucher called Family Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) that is offered through the city’s Department of Social Services.

“It’s very hard for people to find apartments even if they have a subsidy or a voucher. We see people who have to leave their current apartments because they’re not regulated, their leases are up, and for many, even six months is not enough time to find another apartment. They [landlords] have all kinds of prejudices and preconceived ideas about what a poor tenant is going to be like, so it is a real problem,” said Sateesh Nori, Attorney-in-Charge of the Queens Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society.