December 2020

Weekly Report for December 25, 2020

Assembly meets to continue remote voting practices
The Assembly held a rare December session on Monday to pass rule changes that continue to allow lawmakers to vote by videoconference or phone. The Assembly did not take up any other legislative measures, however said it is still a possibility before the end of the year. Speaker Carl Heastie said he is close to an agreement with Democrats who lead the Senate about enacting more rent protections for tenants impacted by the virus who are unable to meet their monthly payments, as well as an extended moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

Federal stimulus package includes rent relief, eviction moratorium extension
Renters could get relief from the new Covid stimulus deal, reached after weeks of negotiation in Congress. The recovery package includes $25 billion for rental assistance, extends the federal CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021, and provides $600 checks to many Americans, and an additional $300 per week to unemployment benefits through March 2021. President Trump has yet to sign the legislation, however, and he is now calling for a $2,000 stimulus check for individuals.

Sen. Lanza to become Deputy Minority Leader
Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island was tapped to replace Sen. Joe Griffo as Senate Deputy Minority Leader. Read more here.

Weekly Report for December 18, 2020

NYSAR meets with state and NYC lawmakers as 2021 approaches
NYSAR staff has been meeting with state lawmakers to discuss legislative priorities, including fair housing measures and a pied-a-terre tax proposal, as well as budget concerns and how the pandemic has been impacting REALTORS®. NYSAR staff has also been meeting with New York City Councilmembers alongside REALTOR® members to express concerns with city legislation that would ban criminal background checks on prospective tenants and require residential fire sprinklers to be installed in existing residential building 3-stories or more. NYSAR will be releasing its 2021 legislative priorities in the coming weeks.

NYS extends and expands its COVID Rent Relief Program
Governor Cuomo and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal announced the COVID Rent Relief Program will be reopened for applications starting December 18 through February 1, 2021 with expanded eligibility criteria in an attempt to provide more relief to tenants and landlords. The extended program’s eligibility was changed to no longer require households to be considered “rent burdened” prior to the pandemic in order to qualify and will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. For additional eligibility requirements and application information, click here.

Commercial and residential eviction moratoriums extended until January 31, 2021
Governor Cuomo has extended the commercial and residential eviction moratoriums until January 31, 2021, prohibiting the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of an eviction of any tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment. The law governing residential evictions, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, allows property owners to seek money judgments, rather than evictions, for non-payment cases. State lawmakers, however, are currently pushing for blanket moratoriums on all residential evictions. Read more here.

Weekly Report for December 11, 2020

Gov. Cuomo says NY will expand COVID rent relief program
After New York State distributed just $40 million of $100 million in federal CARES Act funds intended for struggling, low-income tenants, Governor Cuomo announced on December 3 that the state would rework the program so that more renters would be eligible for assistance. More details will be released in the coming days according to the state office of Homes and Community Renewal. Read more here.

Gov. Cuomo reiterates warnings of tax hikes
Even with aid from Washington, New York may still need to raise taxes next year in order to close its budget gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday. Governor Cuomo continued to say, “I believe there’s going to be a tax increase and I believe a lot of tough decisions will need to be made. I believe there will be a lot of (spending) cuts. Read more here.

First COVID-19 vaccine doses expected in NY this weekend
New York State will receive 170,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government in the coming days, which will be prioritized for high-risk health care workers and the staff and residents of nursing homes, Governor Cuomo said Wednesday. Distribution of vaccine doses is based on the number of nursing home residents and health care workers by region. For a breakdown by region and to read more click here.

Weekly Report for December 4, 2020

NYC Council bill requiring residential fire sprinklers faces widespread opposition
Both tenants and landlords are expressing opposition to a New York City Council bill sponsored by Councilman Barry Grodenchik that would require owners of all residential buildings over 40 feet tall, including coops, condos and rental buildings to install an automatic fire sprinkler system by December 2029. In addition to high costs to landlords, the NYC Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca stated that the bill would be disruptive to tenants as well. NYSAR will be meeting with Councilman Grodenchik on this bill in the coming weeks. Read more here.

Democrat John Mannion wins CNY Senate seat; Republican Alexis Weik flips Long Island Senate seat
Democrat John Mannion declared victory in the Central New York State Senate seat on Monday with Republican Angie Renna conceding. Mannion’s victory gives Senate Democrats a 43-member majority (42 votes are needed in the Senate to override a governor’s veto). In Suffolk County, Republican Alexis Weik unseated first-term Democratic Sen. Monica Martinez. Read more here.\

NYSAR joins coalition in opposition to pied-a-terre tax proposal
NYSAR recently joined a coalition of organizations and advocate groups to oppose a new tax proposal on non-primary residences valued at over $5 million in New York City. A public campaign has been launched to advance these efforts – To learn more and contact your state lawmaker asking them to oppose the legislation, visitNYC Homeowners Coalition.