July 2021

Weekly Report for July 29, 2022

Kingston City Council votes 7-1 approving local rent stabilization
On Thursday, the Kingston City Council voted 7-1 to opt into the Emergency Tenant Projection Act, which was approved by the State Legislature in 2019 allowing municipalities outside New York City to establish rent control for certain rental properties with six units or more built before 1974 if there is a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent. A survey conducted by the city in April and May found the city had a net vacancy rate of 1.57 percent for those properties. The new measure could impact more than 1,200 rental units in Kingston. Read more here.

NYC Mayor releases handbook aimed at protecting and maintaining homeownership
On July 27, NYC Mayor Eric Adams released a “Homeowner Handbook: Protecting and Maintaining Home in NYC to help owners of one- to four-family homes identify public entities and homeownership programs, with information on financial assistance and resources on maintaining and keeping a home. The handbook builds on Mayor Adams’ $44 million investment in expanding homeownership to help New Yorkers — particularly in lower-income communities and communities of color. Over the next four years, the administration expects to support 1,200 first-time homebuyers. Read the Mayor’s full release here.

House passes remote online notarization bill
On July 27, the House of Representatives passed the NAR-supported Secure Notarization Act, a bipartisan bill that would federally expand the availability of remote online notarization nationwide. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration. Remote online notarization allows a notary and signer in different physical locations to safely and securely execute electronic documents using two-way audiovisual communication. New York State passed new permanent remote notarization legislation, which NYSAR advocated in support of, that went into effect in February 2022 with a new registration process going into effect January 31, 2023. More information and FAQ section can be found on New York’s Department of State site here.

Weekly Report for July 22, 2022

DOS moves to implement CE changes
On July 20, the Department of State published proposed rulemaking updates to implement recent changes in education standards for real estate licensees, which were signed into law by Governor Hochul last December. Under the new law, licensees are required to take 2 hours of implicit bias and 2 hours of cultural competency education within the existing 22.5 hours of required continued education. Additionally, salespersons are required to take 2 additional hours of pre-licensing education in fair housing; and brokers are required to take an additional 32 hours of pre-licensing education of which 10 hours are devoted to fair housing. The DOS will be holding one public hearing on September 21, 11:00 a.m. at 123 William Street, 2nd Floor, New York.  In addition, public comment on the new regulations will be accepted until September 26, 2022 with an anticipated effective and compliance date of December 21, 2022. Read more here.

Tracking the contested State Senate primary races in New York
At least seven Democratic incumbents are facing primary challenges, and competitive races are underway for open seats in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Early voting for State Senate races begins Aug. 13 ahead of the primary election on August 23. A few of the most competitive Democratic primary races include seats held by Sens. Andrew Gounardes of Brooklyn and Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx, as well as open seats vacated by Sens. Alessandra Biaggi in Bronx/Westchester and Diane Savino in Staten Island. A field of five candidates, including former NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Democratic Socialist candidate Kristen Gonzalez, are running competitively for the newly created open seat that covers parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Read more about the candidates, races and money on hand here.

NYC Mayor and state lawmakers to focus on homeownership
Recently, NYC Mayor Eric Adams embraced a housing plan that puts a greater emphasis on “affordable homeownership.” Part of Mayor Adams’ housing plan commits to a significant increase in resources for the existing HomeFix program to help low- and moderate-income homeowners in one- to four-unit properties fund home repairs ranging from windows to roofs. Homeownership in New York City has gained the attention of state lawmakers as well. Sen. Jamaal Bailey is part of a group of elected officials of color who are pushing for more help for New Yorkers who want to become homeowners. The city’s homeownership rate in 2019 declined to 31.9%, down from a little more than 33% a decade ago, according to the most recent NYU Furman Center State of the City report, which is half the national rate of 62%. Read more here.

Weekly Report for July 15, 2022

NAR presents latest housing trends and market data to Members of Congress – Download the presentation
NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith joined NAR’s Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights, Dr. Jessica Lautz, for a webinar provided to Members of Congress and their staff on the state of America’s housing market. Watch the webinar and download the latest key data about the market here. You can also download the presentation here.

Tenant lobby calls for special session to pass statewide good cause eviction; City of Albany appeals Court decision voiding local good cause law
Tenant activists and lobbyists rallied at the state capitol on Wednesday, calling for a special legislative session to pass “good cause” eviction legislation, arguing that the recent State Supreme Court decision to void the city of Albany “good cause” eviction law makes statewide action more urgent. The city of Albany filed Monday an appeal to the Court’s decision striking down the law. Landlords and REALTORS®continue to argue the state legislation amounts to rent control and would limit the ability to repair and maintain rental buildings.

Endorsements and polling in NY’s hotly contested new 10th Congressional District
Endorsements from elected officials, labor unions and PACs are rolling in for the 13 candidates vying to represent New York’s new 10th Congressional District, comprising of lower Manhattan, Brownstone Brooklyn, Sunset Park and parts of Borough Park. Latest polling shows NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, and former House impeachment counsel Dan Goldman leading the Primary field. For a full list of candidates and current endorsements, click here.

Weekly Report for July 8, 2022

Tenant organizations to abandon municipal good cause eviction efforts following State court decision
Following last week’s State court ruling nullifying the city of Albany’s “good cause” eviction law, the tenant organization Housing Justice for All said they will likely abandon their approach of lobbying municipalities to pass local “good cause” eviction laws. So far, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Beacon, and Hudson have passed local “good cause” measures. A plaintiff would likely need to challenge each local law for a court to consider revoking them. New Paltz was considering its own bill but was awaiting the outcome of the Albany lawsuit. Pending any additional legal action or appeals, tenant lobbyists will likely direct efforts in support of a statewide good cause bill next legislative session which begins in January. Read more here.

Governor Hochul signs bill to increase energy efficiency standards
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law Tuesday that will broaden the powers of the state’s building code council when it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions and place tighter energy efficiency standards on new household appliances. The Advanced Building Codes, Appliances and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act requires the state Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to come up with tougher water and energy efficiency standards for standard appliances – including everything from refrigerators to ice machines to clothes dryers to commercial fryers. Anything that does not meet the new standards will not be permitted to be sold, leased or installed in New York, according to the law. The law will further require the state’s new building code to take the state’s climate goals into account “to the fullest extent possible” as they are developed. Read more here.

Weekly Report for July 1, 2022

State Supreme Court rules Albany “Good Cause” eviction law null and void
On June 30, State Supreme Court judge Christina Ryba ruled that the City of Albany “good cause” eviction law (Local Law F) conflicted with NYS law. Due to the conflict, the local law was deemed to be “null and void” as it is preempted by NYS law. The lawsuit was filed by landlords and supported by NYSAR. We will provide any additional updates as they become available.

NYSAR submits testimony on recommendations from State Climate Action Council
This week, NYSAR submitted formal testimony to the New York State Climate Action Council expressing serious concerns regarding the costs and feasibility of several recommendations included in the Council’s Draft Scoping Plan. Among those concerns include high costs of electrification and retrofitting single-family homes to be all-electric, affordability and reliability of energy supply to consumers, and the overall impact on current and future homeowners and commercial property owners. Read NYSAR’s full testimony here. 

The Climate Action Council has made the following recommendations:

  • No new natural gas service to existing buildings;
  • Prohibiting propane, natural gas and oil equipment in new homes in 2024;
  • Prohibiting traditional heating systems in existing homes beginning in 2030;
  • Ban use of natural gas appliances (dryers, stoves, etc.) in homes beginning in 2035;
  • No gasoline vehicles sold in New York in 2035;
  • Requiring single & multifamily property owners to obtain and disclose prior year energy consumption and energy performance ratings in real estate listings.

June 28 Primary Election Results
New York’s Democratic and Republican primary elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Assembly races were held Tuesday, June 28. New York’s primary election for Congressional and State Senate races will be held Tuesday, August 23. Current election results show Governor Kathy Hochul winning her Democratic primary election with over 66 percent of the vote, defeating Tom Suozzi and Jumaane Williams. Governor Hochul’s running mate Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado also won his Democratic primary with over 57 percent of the vote, defeating Ana Maria Archila and Diana Reyna. Rep. Lee Zeldin will be the Republican candidate facing Governor Hochul in the general election in November following his primary victory over Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino, and Harry Wilson, receiving over 43 percent of the vote.

Incumbents running in primary elections in the State Assembly were victors by in large, however, Democratic primary challengers were successful in ousting long-serving Democratic Assemblymembers including: 22-year incumbent Assemblyman Jose Rivera who was defeated in his primary by George Alvarez in the Bronx; 26-year incumbent Assemblyman Kevin Cahill from Kingston who conceded to climate activist and Democratic Socialist Sarahana Shrestha; and 12-year incumbent Thomas Abinanti of Westchester who lost to MaryJane Shimsky. Incumbent Assemblyman Erik Dilan currently holds a narrow lead against Democratic Socialist Samy Nemir Olivares. Read more here, and for full election results click here.

New York extends deadline for tax exemption applications affected by Superstorm Sandy
On June 29, Governor Hochul signed into law legislation that extends the deadline to apply for a tax exemption on renovations to or the reconstruction of residential properties affected by Superstorm Sandy. The new law extends the deadline by two years, to March 1, 2024. Applications for a tax exemption are available here.

State lawmakers convene for extraordinary session on gun legislation
The State Legislature convened in Albany for extraordinary session on Thursday, June 30 at the request of Governor Hochul to address new gun laws and restrictions following the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down a component of New York gun law, which required a person show “proper cause” for carrying a concealed handgun. Read more here.