December 2022

Weekly Report for December 30, 2022

Gov. Hochul vetoes bill that would have eliminated tax break for coop and condo owners
In December, Governor Hochul vetoed a bill (S.5946-B/A.3491-B) that sought to eliminate current state law that provides a property tax break to coop and condo owners by lowering their home’s assessment. In her veto message, Governor Hochul stated that many first-time homebuyers rely on the affordability of condos and coops, and approval of the bill could lead to fewer units of housing being built at a time when New York is facing a housing crisis. Read more here.

New short term rental registry requirements in NYC go into effect January
New York City approved a new measure put forth by Mayor Eric Adams to require Airbnb hosts to register their short-term rentals with the city’s database – including proof that the hosts themselves reside there, and that their home abides by local zoning and safety requirements. The new rules go into effect January 9, 2023. Hosts that fail to comply could face $1,000 to $5,000 in penalty fees. The city’s Office of Special Enforcement said they expect to see 10,000 listings disappear after the new regulations go into effect. Read more here.

Congress passes omnibus bill with real estate provisions
On December 23, Congress passed the FY 2023 Omnibus spending package, narrowly avoiding a shutdown and funding the federal government through September 30, 2023. The $1.7 trillion spending package includes funding for agency programs and initiatives important to real estate, including:

  • Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30, 2023;
  • $86 million for HUD Fair Housing activities;
  • $1.5 billion for HUD’s HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides grants to fund housing-related activities;
  • $85 million for grants to states and localities that remove barriers to the creation and preservation of affordable housing; and
  • $130 million in new funding for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Download a full list of the top real estate-related provisions in the Omnibus bill.

Weekly Report for December 23, 2022

Climate Action Council Approves Final Scoping Plan
On Monday, December 19, the State’s Climate Action Council approved a final scoping plan with recommendations to reduce emissions by a vote of 19-3. The final scoping plan included several recommendations that will phase out the use of natural gas, propane and oil in homes and businesses over time. Many of these recommendations will next be considered by the State legislature and/or go through the State’s regulatory process. NYSAR has expressed concerns with the scoping plan and will launch a public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers on the costs of the plan to homeowners and businesses. Read here for NYSAR President Jennifer Vucetic’s statement on the final scoping plan.

State Senator John Mannion Wins Re-Election After Recount
Syracuse-area State Senator John Mannion won re-election over challenger Rebecca Shiroff in the 50th Senate District by 10 votes after a recount concluded on Monday, December 19. Senator Mannion’s re-election brings the total number of Democrats in the 63-member State Senate to 42. Democrats in the State Assembly are expected to have a two-thirds majority when the 2023 legislative session begins, thereby preserving the veto-proof supermajority for the State Legislature. Read here for more.

Lawmakers Return to Albany to Vote on Pay Raise
On Thursday, the State Senate and Assembly passed legislation that would increase the annual salaries for state lawmakers to $142,000 beginning in 2023. Lawmakers currently earn a base salary of $110,000 per year. The pay raise would make New York lawmakers the highest paid state legislators in the nation. The legislation also limits the outside income of lawmakers to $35,000 beginning in 2025. Governor Hochul previously expressed support for the pay raise. Read more here.

2023 Legislative Preview
Housing will likely be one of the top issues in Albany in 2023. Governor Hochul is expected to launch an ambitious plan early next year for the State to add 800,000 housing units over the next decade. Other issues that state lawmakers and the Governor are expected to focus on include criminal justice, climate change, energy and the appointment of a chief judge to the Court of Appeals, which must be confirmed by the State Senate. Read here for more.

Weekly Report for December 16, 2022

Tenant rental assistance program scheduled to close Jan. 15, 2023
An agreement signed Wednesday by State Supreme Court Justice Lynn Kotler has lifted a temporary injunction that has kept the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) open through 2022. As a result, the state will no longer accept ERAP applications for rent relief after January 15, 2023, due to lack of funding. Tenants cannot be evicted while an ERAP application is pending. Under the agreement, the state could however reopen the application process to future tenants in the event new state or federal funding becomes available. Read more here.

State lawmakers express concerns over Climate Action Council recommendations
Democratic and Republican state lawmakers are expressing concerns over the expedited timeline which the state Climate Action Council is proposing for the phase out of traditional fuels used to heat and cool homes and commercial buildings. State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblymembers Marianne Buttenschon and Brian Miller of Central New York cited specific concerns over proposals that would require new homes to be all-electric by 2025 and ban fossil fuel-powered heating/cooling system replacements by 2030. Read more here.

Gov. Hochul and NYC Mayor Adams announce housing plan to build 800,000 new homes
On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced an action plan to develop 800,000 new homes over the next decade. The Governor and Mayor also reinforced their support for replacing the 421a property tax abatement program for affordable housing development and incentive programs for the conversion of office spaces into housing. The Governor will be releasing more details in her upcoming State of the State Address on January 10, 2023. Read more here.

NYC releases final rule on reporting and compliance with new greenhouse gas emissions reductions for multi-family buildings (Local Law 97)
The NYC Department of Buildings adopted a Final Rule outlining reporting and compliance requirements regarding annual greenhouse gas emissions for multi-family residential buildings that exceed 25,000 gross square feet, and will go into effect January 19, 2023. The new procedures implement goals and requirements of Local Law 97 which was signed into law in NYC in 2019 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in larger buildings. The Final Rule sets emissions limits and reporting requirements for NYC building owners and managers and penalties for noncompliance. You can read the Final Rule here.

Weekly Report for December 9, 2022

NYSAR testifies at NYC public hearing on bill barring criminal background checks for tenants; NYC Mayor Adams echoes crime concerns
On Thursday, NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group Chair Melissa Gomez testified at a public hearing before the NYC Council expressing REALTOR® concerns on a bill (Int. 632) that would bar criminal background checks on prospective tenants. Following the lengthy public hearing, NYC Mayor Eric Adams walked back his prior support for the bill citing similar public safety concerns expressed by REALTORS® and other opponents of the bill. NYSAR has been actively meeting with individual City Council Members to discuss shortfalls of the legislation. You can read NYSAR’s memo in opposition to the bill here, and if you are a New York City resident, Take Action today to tell your City Council Member that you oppose the measure. Read more on the issue here.

NYC Mayor Adams unveils initiative to accelerate housing construction
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his “Get Stuff Built” plan, a comprehensive, three-pronged effort to address New York City’s affordable housing crisis and underlying housing shortage by rapidly accelerating the pace of housing production, with a goal of meeting the need for 500,000 new homes over the next decade. The “Get Stuff Built” report includes 111 specific actions that will improve efficiency and effectiveness of three governmental processes that have slowed housing production: City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), land use approvals, and the city’s building permitting process. Read more here.

Governor Hochul to deliver State of the State address Jan. 10; will focus on housing
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she will deliver her State of the State address on Tuesday, January 10, where one of her main focuses will be on affordable housing and addressing restrictions on new housing development. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also said his conference will be emphasizing the need for more affordable housing in the next legislative session.

Governor Hochul releases report on redlining inquiry across the state
Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced a new report from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) that illuminates continued racial disparities in mortgage lending practices on Long Island, in Rochester and in Syracuse as part of an ongoing statewide inquiry into redlining. The announcement follows a previous DFS report that identified redlining and other forms of housing discrimination by mortgage lenders, particularly non-depository lenders, in majority-minority neighborhoods in Buffalo. This recent DFS inquiry did not find fair lending law violations, however, two mortgage lenders have agreed to reform lending practices and implement programs to ensure better access to historically underserved communities. Read more here.

Weekly Report for December 2, 2022

NYSAR Call for Action – NYC Council bill banning criminal background checks for tenants (Public Hearing scheduled December 8, 2022)
The New York City Council has scheduled a public hearing this Thursday, December 8 at 10 a.m. on Int. 632 – a bill that would prohibit landlords and real estate agents from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants in New York City, also known as the “Fair Chance Housing” bill. If you are a New York City resident, Take Action today to tell your City Council Member and Mayor Eric Adams that you oppose this measure.

NYSAR opposes the bill as drafted and has raised public safety concerns with City Council Members. A copy of NYSAR’s memo in opposition to the bill can be read here. NYSAR and individual REALTORS® will testify at the hearing. To register to testify via zoom, click here and select the December 8, Committee on Civil and Human Rights hearing and reference the bill Int. 632 as the subject of testimony. You do not have to pre-register if you are attending the meeting in-person. Stream the hearing live here.

Department of State proposes new cease and desist zone in parts of Brooklyn
The Department of State is proposing the creation of a new cease and desist zone in areas of Brooklyn near East Flatbush, also referred to as Community Board 17. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until January 23, 2023. Members of the public wishing to provide public comment can email: [email protected]. NYSAR will be providing comments on the proposal as we oppose the imposition of cease and desist zones which restrict commonly used business practices by licensed real estate professionals. Read the DOS proposal here.

State Supreme Court strikes down City of Newburgh good cause eviction law
On Tuesday, State Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sciortino struck down the City of Newburgh’s local good cause eviction law (Local Law 6), ruling that it conflicted with state property law. The lawsuit was brought against the city council by a group of local landlords. Judge Sciortino’s decision noted that while state law enables landlords to evict tenants who overstay their leases, Newburgh’s law “expands the rights of the tenant” by requiring landlords to do more to evict renters and clearly conflicts with landlord’s rights. The City of Newburgh could appeal the decision. Read more here.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries elected House Minority Leader
This week, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) was elected next House Minority Leader following the earlier announcement that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be stepping aside from her leadership position. NYSAR and NAR have continued to foster a productive working relationship with Rep. Jeffries since being elected to Congress in 2012. Prior to that, Rep. Jeffries served in the State Assembly from 2007 to 2012.