January 2022

Weekly Report for January 28, 2022

Guest Speaker announcement for NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum – Wed. February 9 at 10 a.m.
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum will be held in-person on Wednesday, February 9 at 10 a.m. in Room Fort Orange 7-9 as part of NYSAR’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Our guest speaker will be Gavin Donohue, President and CEO of the Independent Power Producers of NY (IPPNY), who will be providing an informative update on the state’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and what that could mean for New York homeowners and taxpayers. Gavin is an appointed member of the state’s Climate Action Council, which is charged with making clean energy recommendations to the Legislature. NYSAR Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly and NAR Political Representative Zack Rubin-McCarry will be providing a state and federal update on the legislative and political landscapes as we head into an election year. To register and find a schedule of NYSAR’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings click here.

Legislature moves to pass technical changes to 2021 NYS fair housing laws
State lawmakers are beginning the process of passing technical changes or amendments to a series of new fair housing laws signed by Governor Hochul in December of last year. The governor and Legislature came to an agreement on changes to several fair housing laws to amend certain provisions and effective dates, which NYSAR supports. Click here for a description of the proposed amendments and new effective dates where applicable.

Additionally, three new fair housing laws are now in effect:

    • An additional $30 surcharge to the license and renewal fee for real estate brokers and an additional $10 surcharge to the license and renewal fee for real estate salespersons to be used for statewide fair housing testing efforts.
    • An increase in the maximum fine for real estate license violations from $1,000 to $2,000, with new funds dedicated to a new anti-discrimination in housing fund.
    • Requirement of two years’ experience as an associate broker before being designated as an office manager; and establishes a standard for the supervision of real estate agents and associate brokers by office managers that is equivalent to that of a licensed broker.

Weekly Report for January 21, 2022

NYSAR Mid-Winter Business Meetings – Virtual Schedule for NYSAR Legislative Working Groups

NYSAR’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings are scheduled to be a hybrid event with virtual meetings being held via Zoom from January 24-28, and in-person meetings to be held February 6-10. For a full list of virtual meetings and to register for the NYSAR Mid-Winter Business Meetings, click here. NYSAR’s Legislative Working Group meeting schedule:

Monday, January 24

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Commercial Issues Working Group
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – NYC Issues Working Group
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Co-Op Issues Working Group

Tuesday, January 25

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Article 12a Working Group

Summary of Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 Executive Budget Proposal
On January 18, Governor Kathy Hochul presented her first Executive Budget proposal for FY 2023. Governor Hochul’s $216 billion spending plan includes multiple real-estate related initiatives, including affordable housing funding, a homeowner property tax rebate credit, and limitations on the use of criminal background and credit checks by landlords. Over the next few weeks, the state Senate and Assembly will hold a series of joint budget hearings. Each house will then present their own respective budget proposals, signaling the start of budget negotiations between the governor and Legislature. A final state Budget is due by April 1, 2022. For a complete summary of the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal, click here.

NY Attorney General issues guidance on evictions following expiration of moratorium

Following the expiration of the state’s eviction moratorium on January 15, 2022, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued guidance on evictions and existing tenant rights and protections. Landlords are now able to start new eviction cases, proceed with existing cases, and issue eviction warrants against some tenants. Read more here.

Weekly Report for January 14, 2022

New Chapter Amendments and Effective Dates for NYS Fair Housing Laws
On December 21, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a series of new fair housing bills into law. NYSAR is proud to have worked with state lawmakers over the last two years to strengthen fair housing laws in New York State and is committed to educating REALTORS® about these new laws and regulations. In Governor Hochul’s approval messages for several of these fair housing laws, the governor included a series of technical amendments (or chapter amendments) to amend certain provisions and effective dates of the laws, which the Legislature has agreed to pass early this year. Click here for a description of the new fair housing laws along with the proposed chapter amendments and new effective dates where applicable. NYSAR will continue to post updates when they occur.

NYSAR and Buffalo REALTORS® meet with Sen. Kennedy on landlord-tenant issues
This week, NYSAR and the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® held a joint meeting with State Senator Tim Kennedy to discuss the ongoing challenges being face by both landlords and tenants statewide due to the pandemic. Several REALTORS® living in Senator Kennedy’s district in Buffalo had the opportunity to describe their experiences as landlords dealing with eviction moratoriums, non-payment of rent, and efforts to keep good tenants in their buildings. Also discussed were the harmful impacts that the state good cause eviction bill (S.3082/A.5573) would have on housing stock, tenants and small landlords.

Brooklyn REALTORS® testify at public hearing on cease and desist zone proposal
In November 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation requiring the Department of State to hold a public hearing and conduct an investigation to determine if additional real estate cease and desist zones should be established in all or parts of Brooklyn. Several REALTOR® members living or working in Brooklyn testified at the hearing, which was held on January 11, in opposition to any proposed cease-and-desist zones. You can view the full hearing here.

Weekly Report for January 7, 2022

NYSAR 2022 President Jennifer Vucetic testifies at Senate hearing on state good cause eviction proposal
On Friday, NYSAR 2022 President Jennifer Vucetic testified on behalf of the association before the State Senate at a legislative hearing on the state good cause eviction proposal (S.3082/A.5573), which can be viewed here. NYSAR strongly opposes the legislation and continues to hold one-on-one meetings with individual lawmakers to express our concerns. NYSAR will continue to update members on this legislative proposal, which is a top priority heading into the new year.

Legislation introduced to lift ban on cold calling during states of emergency
This week, Senator Kevin Thomas (Long Island) introduced legislation (S.7656) at the request of NYSAR and other industry partners to provide a remedy to the current ban on cold calling during declared states of emergency, per Executive Orders by the governor. Last year, NYSAR formed a coalition with other impacted businesses in order to urge state lawmakers to lift the telemarketing ban. Many REALTORS®, as well as other business professionals, have been greatly impacted by these restrictions, and this legislation is a NYSAR priority as state lawmakers return to Albany following a six-month recess. The bill is expected to be introduced in the Assembly in the near future.

Governor Hochul delivers her first State of the State address; lays out legislative priorities
On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul gave her first State of the State address in Albany, outlining her legislative agenda for 2022. The day also marked the beginning of the legislative session, which runs through mid-June. Governor Hochul’s address focused primarily on public health and the ongoing impacts the COVID pandemic has had on many aspects of life including the economy, housing and health care to name a few. Regarding housing, the governor stated that the state’s housing shortage is largely the result of outdated laws, programs, and land use barriers that prevent the development of new housing. The governor outlined a number of initiatives and proposals which will be considered by the State Legislature throughout the legislative session and state budget negotiations. The following proposals have been highlighted as they deal with housing and tax policy:

  • Expanding the housing supply by proposing legislation that encourages the development of additional housing in areas with high need and capacity, especially in areas near public transportation, that incentivize the creation of affordable rental housing; and that allow for flexible conversions of existing commercial spaces into residential housing.
    • Encouraging the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by proposing legislation to require municipalities to allow a minimum of one ADU on owner-occupied residentially zoned lots and legalizing existing ADUs in New York City pending certain building code requirements.
    • Easing restrictions on converting hotels and commercial space into residential housing
  • Prohibiting landlords from automatically rejecting tenants based on credit score and criminal history.
    • Prohibiting landlords from automatically denying applicants on the basis of credit history or score if the applicant can demonstrate certain aspects of financial stability.
    • Prohibiting landlords from automatically denying applicants on the basis of criminal history, requiring housing providers to conduct individualized assessments of a conviction and evidence of rehabilitation while ensuring the safety and welfare of existing residents.
    • Creating the Eviction Prevention Legal Assistance Program to provide free legal assistance to upstate New York renters who cannot afford counsel and expand the state’s Fair Housing Testing Program to allow counties to respond to complaints and conduct testing.
  • Requiring zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction by 2027 and updating the state’s building codes to reflect that goal.
  • Eliminating the current 421-a tax abatement program which provides tax incentives for real estate developers that set aside a portion of units in their building for affordable housing, and replacing it with a new abatement program that has not yet been fully detailed. The current 421-a program is set to expire in June.
  • Creating a $1 billion state property tax rebate program for middle- and low-income households for 2022, projected to impact 2 million New Yorkers.
  • Creating a new statewide ConnectALL office to direct efforts and funding to expand broadband access and affordability throughout the state.

A brief summary of all of Governor Hochul’s State of the State proposals can be found at the New York Business Council site here. Additional details on the governor’s proposals related to housing and tax relief can be found here.