Searching for affordable housing in New York City is daunting. And even though housing vouchers are meant to help people pay rent, security deposits, and moving fees, it’s even more difficult for voucher holders to find housing. Without any guidance on how to use their vouchers or what their rights are, it’s easy for people to be discriminated against by landlords and brokers, and feel frustrated by the lack of options in the housing process.

If you have a housing voucher, landlords and brokers cannot reject you for using a voucher. If they do, that’s considered source of income discrimination and it’s illegal! You can fight back against this but it’s not always clear what’s the best way to do this. That’s why CUP, Neighbors Together, Unlock NYC, and designer Gica Tam collaborated to create Record It. Report It!, a guide that explains how to identify source of income discrimination and how to report it. It also highlights helpful tips when searching for an apartment and the power of reporting as a tool to improve housing for all New Yorkers.

Neighbors Together and Unlock NYC are sharing the guide with their network of member leaders and other community partners organizing for the improvement of the voucher system. They will also use this tool in their know-your-rights trainings on source of income discrimination and how to report it, and in their housing search workshops.

Resources & Links

Neighbors Together is committed to ending hunger and poverty in Ocean Hill, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant, three of the lowest-income areas in New York City.

Unlock NYC’s free tools help you record your phone calls with landlords and brokers and report unfair treatment during your housing search. They are here to make the apartment search process transparent, fair, and free from discrimination for all New Yorkers.

Gica Tam is a designer and illustrator who creates site specific, community-based, and socially-engaged projects.

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso.

Special Thanks

Allauna, Brian Blackman, Elizabeth Byrd, Scott Hutchins, Sofia Janz, Leslilynn Meadows, Velvet A. Johnson Ross, Winston Tokuhisa, Jessica Valencia, Loretta Williams.

Participants

  • CUP
  • Clair Beltran
  • Sucharitha Yelimeli
  • Neighbors Together
  • Annie Carforo
  • Nailah Abdul-Mubdi
Unlock NYC

Ashley Eberhart

    Designer

    Gica Tam