Council overrides mayoral veto on Section 8 lawsuits

Section 8 tenants who feel they've been discriminated against due to their incomes can now sue, according to a bill that the City Council passed over a mayoral veto.The City Council overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto Wednesday, allowing certain tenants to file a claim in state Supreme Court or with the city's Commission on Human Rights.

The law, which took effect immediately, is meant to ensure the use of available Section 8 housing vouchers in buildings with six or more units. The City Council said the legislation exempts buildings with fewer units due to the administrative burden those landlords already experience by participating in the program.

The federally funded Section 8 program allows low-income tenants to pay a landlord less than a unit's market rate. The government then pays the difference.

Bloomberg vetoed the measure, calling it well-intentioned, but flawed. Commission on Human Rights officials say they will now need more resources and staff to enforce the law.

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