With tens of thousands of New Yorkers fleeing the high-tax state amid the coronavirus pandemic under and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the embattled governor is cracking down on housing discrimination.
The state will send “undercover testers” posing as potential renters or homebuyers to try and uncover housing discrimination, the governor’s office said Thursday.
“Every New Yorker has the right to live in the community of their choice without fear of discriminatory treatment,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Cuomo’s office said that a state investigation last month found illegal “redlining” in and around Buffalo.
The “testing” will be conducted by nonprofit groups and focused on sellers, brokers and landlords, the governor’s office said.
Additionally, new regulations will take effect on March 17 that require real estate appraisers to be trained in fair housing and fair lending laws.
An October report revealed that New York had seen more residents move out than any other state, with people moving out of New York City at 52% above the national average. And more than 125,000 New Yorkers ditched the state between July 2019 and July 2020, according to the Census Bureau.
So many people have left that the state may soon lose a House seat.
The move comes as Cuomo faces growing scrutiny over a coronavirus outbreak that left more than 15,000 New York nursing home residents dead, as he denies accusations of sexual harassment from a former aide, and amid allegations that he has bullied rivals and critics.
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