July 2023

Weekly Report for July 28, 2023

State Senator Kevin Thomas announces run for Congress
On Wednesday, State Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Nassau) announced that he is running for Congress in the 4thCongressional District, which is currently held by Republican incumbent Rep. Anthony D’Esposito. Former Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and former Olympian Sarah Hughes have also announced their candidacy seeking the Democratic line for the congressional seat. Sen. Thomas’ announcement to run for Congress also sets the stage for a potentially competitive race to fill his State Senate seat in 2024. Read more here.

NYSAR’s Mike Kelly and HGAR’s Eli Rodriguez recognized for Government Affairs work
This week, City & State recognized NYSAR’s Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly and Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® Regional Government Affairs Director Eli Rodriguez in New York’s “2023 Who’s Who in Government Relations.” The list spotlights some of the most influential government affairs professionals across the state. View the full list here.

Special Election for Queens Assembly seat announced
Gov. Hochul announced that a special election will be held on Tuesday, September 12 to fill the vacant 27th Assembly District seat in Central Queens previously held by Democrat Daniel Rosenthal who resigned in June to take a position at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. Candidate Sam Berger has been endorsed by Rosenthal and is expected to receive the Democratic nomination for the race. It is unclear at this time who the Republican nominated candidate will be. Read more here.

Weekly Report for July 21, 2023

Governor Hochul announces executive actions on housing
On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced several executive actions to promote housing growth, including:

  • Declaring an Executive Order establishing priority in certain discretionary funding programs for localities across the state that comply with a new “Pro-Housing Community” certification process;
  • Creating a program to advance residential projects halted by the expiration of 421-a that include affordable housing; limited to within the Gowanus rezoning area in Brooklyn;
  • Requiring all state entities to identify the potential for state-owned lands to support housing;
  • Recent and forthcoming regulatory initiatives to identify opportunities for greater efficiencies to promote housing growth;
  • Launching of the beta version of a new, interactive portal to collect and share community-level housing and zoning data and information.

To read a full breakdown of Governor Hochul’s executive actions, click here.

State utility regulator approves $43 billion in ratepayer costs to support climate goals
According to Politico, on Thursday, the state Public Service Commission authorized an estimated $43.7 billion in costs for the implementation of the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLPA), which will be recovered over several years from utility ratepayers. Additionally, a PSC report on residential ratepayer impacts in 2022 was released showing electric utility rate increases ranging from 3.7 percent to 9.8 percent, depending on the region; and gas utility rate increases ranging up to 1.3 percent. A more detailed report is expected to be posted on the PSC website here. The Assembly is expected to hold a hearing in the fall on the state’s climate law’s impacts on ratepayers.

State comptroller warns of growing budget gap
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Tuesday released a report on the updated Division of Budget forecast of the gap between revenues and expenses, totaling $36.4 billion through fiscal year 2026-27 due to a weaker economic forecast, unrest in the stock market and higher state spending. The projected budget gap for fiscal year 2024-25 is now $9.1 billion, 2025-26 is $13.9 billion and 2026-27 is $13.4 billion. Read more here.

Weekly Report for July 14, 2023

Sen. John Mannion announces run for Congress
This week, State Senator John Mannion (D-Central NY) announced he is running in the 22nd Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Republican Brandon Williams who was elected in 2022 following the retirement of Republican John Katko. Senator Mannion was elected to the State Senate in 2020 and won reelection in 2022 by 10 votes. DeWitt town councilor Sarah Klee Hood and Utica professor Clemmie Harris have also announced they will be running for the Democratic line in the 22nd Congressional District. Read more here.

U.S. House passes Association Health Plan bill
On June 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3799, the CHOICE Arrangement Act. The bill includes the NAR-supported Association Health Plans Act, which would expand access to association health plans (AHPs) to more Americans, including the self-employed workers of the real estate industry. According to the Congressional Budget Office, upon implementation, these provisions could increase the number of people with health insurance purchased through association plans by an average of 200,000 per year. NAR sent a letter of support for the AHP Act and will continue to advocate on behalf of members as this legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

NYC Council overrides Mayor Adams’ veto of housing access voucher bills
On Thursday, the New York City Council voted 42-8 to override Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of a package of bills to expand access to the city’s rental housing voucher program. The City Council has not overridden a mayoral veto since the Bloomberg administration. The Council’s legislation would expand access to the city rental vouchers to anyone under a certain income level who is at risk of homelessness or eviction, and would prohibit sources of income or work status being used as a basis for eligibility. It would also eliminate a requirement that individuals and families have to stay in the shelter system for 90 days before being eligible for the vouchers. There is a possibility that the mayor’s administration may sue to block the laws from going into effect. Read more here.

Weekly Report for July 7, 2023

REALTORS® meet with NYC Council Member Riley’s office
This week, NYSAR staff and REALTORS® from the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® met with New York City Council Member Kevin Riley’s (Bronx) office to discuss legislation before the City Council. Among the topics included support for transparency in the coop application and purchase process (Int. 1002) and opposition to a bill that would prohibit the collection of a broker fee by a landlord’s agent from the tenant at the onset of a lease (Int. 1105). REALTOR® members were able to provide first-hand experiences on these issues, providing for a thoughtful and effective conversation. NYSAR and REALTOR® members continue to engage City Council officials on legislation that impact housing and the real estate profession.

Coop and condo owners express concerns over NYC climate law
Property owners with lower or fixed incomes are scrambling to fund renovations to comply with a New York City climate law (Local Law 97) that requires buildings to reduce their carbon emissions. The law, passed in 2019, will apply beginning in January 2024 to almost all buildings 25,000 square feet and larger. Property owners say the city has not provided viable financing options or explained what mitigating factors could ease potential noncompliance penalties for the law that’s set to take effect in six months. Bills have been introduced in the NYC Council to delay or carve out exceptions to the forthcoming rules. The NYC Office of Climate and Environmental Justice is expected to release a set of compliance strategies intended to mitigate the impact of the new law later in July. Read more here.