Legal Aid Society

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LAS Secures Repeal of Discriminatory Housing Law in Newark

The City of Newark has repealed an ordinance known as the “Needy Persons Ban”, which prohibited any person who moved or sought to move from a New York City homeless shelter to an apartment in Newark using rent subsidies funded by New York City’s Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program.

The announcement comes in response to a class action lawsuit brought in November of 2021 by Lowenstein Sandler LLP and The Legal Aid Society challenging this cruel and illegal practice.

Newark is a popular destination for program participants because of its lower rents and public transportation to New York City, but the law had blocked SOTA recipients from securing housing within the municipality.

“The City of Newark’s ordinance, which deprived New Yorkers who seek to move to Newark for the benefits of the SOTA program, was patently illegal and immoral, and it endangered the well-being of our clients who seek to secure, safe and affordable housing,” said Josh Goldfein, a staff attorney with the Homeless Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society. “We welcome this repeal which will afford our clients more opportunities to secure the housing they deserve, and we’ll monitor this development in the days to follow to ensure that the City of Newark abides by the law.”