Council Approves Bill to Report on Affordable Housing and Renters with Disabilities

Image credit: New York City Council.

On February 2, 2023, the New York City Council passed Local Law 25 of 2023. The new law was originally introduced by Council Member Diana Ayala as Introduction 375-2022A. The new law will require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to report every three years on how many of their affordable housing units set aside for and rented to persons with disabilities.

The report will be created to follow the trends of disabilities and lottery-won affordable housing to further assist those with disabilities to have more access to these affordable units. The report itself will help the City keep track of the number of housing units occupied by people with disabilities, especially seniors, so that there could eventually be more of these units created and become widely available for those who need them. This data should include the type of disability, such as mobility, vision or hearing impairment.

The purpose of the new law is to help the City meet the demands of the climbing numbers of seniors who need affordable senior housing. Reports have shown that older adults in New York City cannot afford home in the current housing market as a result of decrease in retirement funds and increase in Medicaid prices. The “older adult” demographic includes seniors with special accommodations to assist with their needs.  These special accommodations include elevators, accessibility ramps, slip-resistant floors, accessible showers, wider doorway, good light, etc. Additionally, seniors may have assistance from services who send caretakers to their home, so this requires accommodations as well.

On October 10, 2022, there was a public hearing held on the legislation. The bill was part of a package of bills discussed. Various elected officials and interest organizations testified at the hearing with no negative comments about the bill.

Upon City Council passage, Council Member Ayala noted the new law “will ensure better accessibility requirements and help inform the Council on ways we can improve accessibility conditions in our shelters and affordable housing developments.”

On February 21, 2023, Local Law 25 of 2023 was signed by Mayor Eric Adams. The next report is due by September 1, 2024.

By: Erica DiPietro (Erica is a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

CC: Stated Meeting, Int. No. 375-A (February 2, 2023).



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