Housing Vouchers for Homeless People Routinely Denied

It’s been more than a year since Rebeka and her family lost their apartment in Queens. Since January 2020, they have been living in a hotel — a hotel operating as a homeless shelter for families.

“This whole year has been different,” Rebeka explains. “Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, everything is just different.”

What You Need To Know

  • Thousands of people experiencing homelessness  are given housing vouchers by the city to find housing
  • An exclusive NY1 investigation has found those vouchers are routinely denied by landlords and realtors, which is an illegal source of income discrimination 
  • In the first 10 months of 2019, on average every month, only a tiny slice of those with vouchers were able to find apartments 

She has two children and worked for the city until the pandemic hit the five boroughs. NY1 has changed her name to protect her family’s privacy.

When we met on a cold day in December, Rebeka was carrying a large stack of papers. On it was the names and phone numbers of management companies and realtors.

“This is a prospective list that I was given by my shelter,” she said. “And this is what I have been doing, making calls. I

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