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February 2020

February 28, 2020

DOS to hold Cease and Desist Hearing in Brooklyn on March 5
The Department of State has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Brooklyn to consider establishing a cease and desist zone in the area. Real estate brokers are prohibited from contacting property owners in cease and desist zones if they register with DOS. REALTORS® may attend the hearing, which starts at 5 p.m. at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn. Read more here.

Assembly Minority hosts Rent Control forum on Long Island, March 12
The Assembly Minority Conference is sponsoring a forum entitled, “New York City Rent Regulation Comes to Long Island – What Are the Implications?” on March 12 at 1 p.m. at the Long Island Builders Institute, 1757-8 Veterans Memorial Highway, Islandia. REALTORS® are invited to attend.

City of Hudson Mayor vetoes housing study
On February 21, Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson vetoed a resolution that would have authorized his administration to conduct a housing vacancy study to determine the city’s eligibility to opt into the state’s rent stabilization program. Johnson said most buildings that would be affected are already rent-regulated or stabilized. The City of Kingston recently completed a housing vacancy study that did not meet the threshold to opt into rent regulations. Read more here.

State Attorney General suing Bronx landlord over alleged lead failures
State Attorney General Tish James is suing a Chestnut Holdings, a Bronx landlord, for allegedly failing to inspect apartments for toxic lead paint hazards. The lawsuit alleges Chestnut Holdings is out of compliance with lead paint prevention requirements for property owners. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development said the city is currently auditing landlords and has issued about 495 violations so far to different properties across the city. Read more here.


February 21, 2020

City of Kingston not eligible for rent control following vacancy study
A vacancy study has determined the city of Kingston is not eligible to opt into the state’s revised Emergency Tenant Protection Act. The city’s vacancy rate for rental units was determined to be 6.7 percent. In order for municipalities to enact local rent-stabilization laws and regulations, they must have a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent. NYSAR opposes the expansion of rent stabilization to municipalities outside of New York City and the metro area, such as the city of Kingston. Read more here.

State Code Council to maintain status quo on residential fire sprinklers
The State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council adopted a new Uniform Code which does not include any additional requirements to install residential fire sprinkler systems in one- and two-family homes or townhomes. The Code Council discussed expanding requirements last year. NYSAR submitted public comment urging the Code Council to maintain current requirements on residential fire sprinklers, citing that consumers are already free to decide whether or not to install them. The new Uniform and Energy Codes go into effect May 12, 2020. Find more information here.

Interview highlights from NAR’s Housing Affordability Forum
On February 6, NAR President Vince Malta welcomed over 300 government officials, academic experts, and industry stakeholders to NAR’s Policy Forum in Washington D.C. to discuss housing affordability concerns and solutions in communities across the country. You can view video highlights from the forum here.


February 14, 2020

NYSAR urges state lawmakers to fund new fair housing program in state budget
NYSAR issued letters urging Governor Cuomo and leaders of the state legislature to include new funding in this year’s state budget to establish and maintain a state fair housing tester program. NYSAR also included support for specialized training and certification requirements for fair housing instructors and increasing the maximum state fines for fair housing law violations. You can read the letter here.

Governor vetoes bill, preserving property tax abatement for coops and condos
Governor Cuomo pocket-vetoed a bill that would have made coop and condo buildings ineligible for a 17.5 percent reduction on their annual property tax bill if they failed to provide a prevailing wage to its building service workers. Interested parties argued that smaller condos and coops would struggle to pay a prevailing wage. Read more here.

Special Election April 28 to fill open congressional and state legislative seats
Governor Cuomo announced special elections to be held on the same date as the presidential primary in New York, April 28, 2020 to fill a vacant Congressional seat and four vacant state legislative seats. They include: the 27th Congressional seat held by former Rep. Chris Collins, the 50th State Senate District seat previously held by Republican Bob Antonacci, the 12th Assembly District previously held by Republican Andrew Raia, the 31st Assembly District previously held by Democrat Michele Titus, and the 136th Assembly District previously held by Democrat Jamie Romeo. Read more here.


February 7, 2020

Legislative Forum Guest Speaker
This year’s Legislative Forum at NYSAR’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings will be held February 12 at 10 a.m. in Fort Orange Rooms 7-9 and will feature guest speaker David Lombardo, host of WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. David is an experienced journalist in state politics and previously served as Capitol reporter for the Albany Times Union. NYSAR Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly and NAR Political Representative Zack Rubin-McCarry will also be presenting state and federal issues updates during the legislative forum.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to speak at Mid-Winter Business Meetings
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was elected in 2014 and re-elected for a second term in 2018, is the keynote speaker during the General Session at the NYSAR Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Hochul has worked in all levels of government, from Town Board to Congress – where she represented New York’s 26th Congressional District.