News

This chatbot helps New Yorkers report housing discrimination

For the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who receive rental assistance vouchers, government help paying rent isn’t always enough of a guarantee they’ll find housing. Those who rely on vouchers such as Section 8 or CityFHEPS can face roadblocks when brokers and landlords turn them down, saying they don’t accept such vouchers or saying that a unit is no longer available when it actually is—actions that are illegal under city and state laws and examples of source-of-income discrimination.

To combat that discrimination, social justice startup Unlock NYC has launched a chatbot to help New Yorkers report these potential infractions. On its website, prospective tenants who were illegally turned down for an apartment can click “report” and prompts will guide them through the process, allowing users to select details such as “someone told me I didn’t meet the income requirements for the unit” or “I got ghosted after mentioning my vouchers,” and explaining what the benefits of reporting the interaction could be.

MORE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s