July 2021

Weekly Report for July 30, 2021

State Rent Relief Program streamlined; Realtors® successfully urge action
On July 21, NYSAR called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to direct all resources necessary to the State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) so that the delay in sending aid to renters and landlords could end immediately. NYSAR also issued a Call for Action where hundreds of Realtors® responded urging the governor to release the aid immediately. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and state lawmakers have also called on the governor to release the funds. On July 26, the governor announced additional staffing and a more streamlined application process for the rent relief program would be put into place to get funds out the door. Over 150,000 applications have been submitted to the state requesting rent relief so far with $2.7 billion in federal and state funding available. More information on the program and application criteria can be found on the OTDA website here.

NYSAR calls on Governor Cuomo to end cold call ban
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued another State of Emergency in New York State due to gun violence. This executive order is effective until August 5, 2021, however, could be renewed. As a result of being under a State of Emergency, licensees are again prohibited from making any cold calls. NYSAR sees no connection between acting to curb gun violence and the legitimate business practice of cold calling. NYSAR has launched a Call for Action asking the Governor and State Legislature to lift the ban on cold calling now and decouple the statutory restrictions on cold calling as it relates to States of emergency. Take Action here.

Weekly Report for July 23, 2021

NYSAR launches Call for Action urging Governor Cuomo to release emergency rental assistance funds immediately
NYSAR is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to direct all resources necessary to the State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) so that the disgraceful delay in sending aid to renters and landlords can end immediately. New York’s OTDA has yet to distribute any of the $2.4 billion in federal rent relief funding to tenants and landlords. The financial impact of the pandemic continues to hurt families and small businesses that are relying on this aid and state government inaction is the only thing standing in the way. Take Action now by clicking here.

City of Albany passes local “good cause” eviction law
On Monday, the Albany Common Council voted 9 to 2 approving a measure (Local Law F) that creates the first local “good cause” eviction law in the state. The new law caps annual rent increases in the City of Albany at 5 percent, provides for automatic renewal of tenant leases who are current on rent payments even if that lease has expired, and prohibits evictions unless the landlord has established one of ten possible conditions as a good cause for removal. The new law does not apply to owner-occupied buildings with 3 units or less. NYSAR, along with the Greater Capital Association of Realtors® launched a public campaign in opposition to the proposal. There is potential for a legal challenge to the law. NYSAR will be closely monitoring the issue. Read more here.

NAR President Charlie Oppler Op-Ed regarding DOJ settlement withdraw
Earlier this month, in an unprecedented move, the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its consent to a settlement agreement reached in 2020, which had resolved issues raised by the DOJ about brokerage commissions and the MLS system. NAR President Charlie Oppler recently wrote an Op-Ed addressing the issue, which you can read here. You can also find more information on NAR’s page here.

Weekly Report for July 16, 2021

Assembly Republicans call for special session to end eviction moratorium

Republicans in the State Assembly are calling for a special session of the Legislature to align New York’s moratorium on evictions for those affected by the pandemic with the federal eviction moratorium which is set to expire July 31. New York’s statewide moratorium on residential and commercial evictions expires August 31, 2021. New York State has yet to distribute any of its emergency rent relief funds through the state Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) which started accepting applications on June 1. Read more here.

New state law expands telemarketing rules to include text messages

On July 13, Governor Cuomo signed into law a new measure that expands the definition of telemarketing to include text messages. As a result, New York consumers on the ‘Do not call registry’ can no longer be solicited through text messages. This law will take effect in 30 days. Read more here.

NYSAR provides political update to NYC Issues Working Group

Earlier this month, NYSAR’s New York City lobbyists, The Parkside Group provided NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group with a political update on recent Primary Election results in New York City, including the race for Mayor and New York City Council. NYSAR will work with The Parkside Group to set up meetings with likely incoming members of the City Council and Democratic candidate for Mayor Eric Adams. The General Election will be held in November and successful candidates will take office in January 2022.

Weekly Report for July 9, 2021

Several New York City primary election winners declared
Eric Adams was declared winner of the New York City Democratic Mayoral Primary after defeating second place candidate, Kathryn Garcia, in the city’s first-ever ranked choice voting election. Adams will now face the winner of the Republican primary, Curtis Sliwa, in the general election on November 2. Several other primary contests appear to have winners, including the Democratic primary for New York City Comptroller, where Corey Johnson conceded to Brad Lander. For other primary election results in New York City, including borough president, public advocate, and city council races, please click here.

New Yorkers waiting on rental assistance monies to be disbursed
New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance released a monthly report on the number of rental assistance applications submitted through June 29, however, no data was made available on approved applications, and no money has been disbursed. More than 119,000 applications were submitted statewide, including 91,457 from New York City. Applications continue to be accepted. For more information and to apply, click here.

Growing bipartisan caucus continues to push for lifting of SALT deduction limit
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) held a news conference via Zoom on Wednesday, June 30, in which he promised to not vote for any changes to the federal tax code that do not include changes to the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. Rep. Suozzi is a co-chair of the SALT Caucus, which now includes more than 100 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives who have co-sponsored legislation to reinstate the full SALT deduction. To read more, click here.

Weekly Report for July 2, 2021

Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® successfully advocate for stronger coop disclosure law in Westchester
Following strong advocacy efforts by the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® (HGAR), on Tuesday, the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted 15-2 to pass an amendment to strengthen its Coop Disclosure Law originally passed in 2018. County Executive George Latimer signed the new amendment into law. The new law now requires cooperative boards to provide a reason when they deny an applicant’s purchase of a unit, requires boards to provide a notice of rejection to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission within 15 days of notifying prospective buyers of a denial, and mandates disclosure of minimum financial requirements to potential buyers before they apply to purchase a unit. This new law takes effect immediately. NYSAR worked with HGAR to launch Calls for Action urging county lawmakers to pass the amendment. Read more here.

Supreme Court rules on federal eviction moratorium; NYS moratorium still in effect until Aug. 31, 2021
In a 5-4 ruling on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court said the CDC lacked authority to implement a blanket, nationwide eviction moratorium. Although the court declined to lift the ban immediately, the ruling means the federal eviction moratorium will expire at the end of July. New York State, however, will maintain its statewide moratorium on residential and commercial evictions until August 31, 2021, for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations. Read more here.

Updated NYC primary election results
The New York City Board of Elections published corrected preliminary numbers Wednesday showing Eric Adams with a lead over Kathryn Garcia, beating her 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent in the final round of the ranked choice voting process. Garcia jumps ahead of Maya Wiley, who was in second place on election night, by just 347 votes. Garcia now trails Adams by 14,755 votes with more than 124,000 absentee ballots still to be counted. Read more here.

NYC approves $98.7 billion city budget
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council adopted a record-breaking $98.7 billion budget, which includes $15 billion in federal pandemic relief aid. The adopted budget, which is $10 billion higher than last year’s budget, expands free pre-k to 3-year-olds and increases spending on violence-reduction programs, tourism promotion and includes $11 million in aid to help small businesses reopen. New York City has recovered about half of the 900,000 private sector jobs it lost in the early months of the pandemic and still faces financial risk from lost investment in commercial real estate and declining property tax revenue. This is the final budget for Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson due to term limits. Read more here.