Advocates call on Cuomo to sign fair housing bills before vacating office

Several bills still await governor’s signature in final week of administration

New York /
Aug.August 18, 2021 05:00 PM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

The clock is ticking for outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, set to resign on Aug. 24 in the wake of a damning report detailing sexual harassment allegations by nearly a dozen women. After that, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will assume the role as the state’s first-ever female governor.

In the meantime, fair housing activists are calling on Cuomo to sign seven bills awaiting his signature.

Each of the bills “represents a significant step in reducing widespread housing discrimination in New York,” wrote Elaine Gross, president of the Long Island-based civil rights group ERASE Racism, and Baaba Halm, VP of the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, in a joint statement Wednesday.

Among the measures are A05363 — which would add a surcharge to real estate broker or salesman license fees to fund fair housing testing — and A04638, which would require brokers and salespeople to take implicit bias training when renewing their licenses.

Similarly, A05359 would add new required training for the same people in regards to housing discrimination and fair housing laws.

Under A05428, an obligation would be created to affirmatively further fair housing by any state offices involved in housing laws or programs, as well as local entities receiving state funds for similar purposes.

A06866 would establish an anti-discrimination housing fund, which would allocate to the Fair Housing Commission in each county.

Bill A06355 would require associate real estate brokers who serve as managers of their offices to supervise other associate brokers and salespersons.

Finally, A06186 would standardize real estate agent procedures and allow brokers and salespeople to be penalized for those who fail to comply with procedures aimed towards ending disparate treatment in sales.

It’s not clear if Cuomo plans on signing any of these bills prior to his departure. A tracker on the New York State Senate website indicates that Cuomo has not signed any legislation into law since Aug. 2.





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