Weekly Report for June 26, 2020
New York Primary Election highlights
New York’s primary elections were held on June 23, and for the first time in the state’s history, all eligible voters were permitted to vote by absentee ballot. Although most incumbents won re-election, there were several incumbents ousted or trailing their challengers with absentee ballots still outstanding. At the Congressional level, State Senator Chris Jacobs won the special election to replace Rep. Chris Collins. Challenger Jamaal Bowman pulled off an upset to defeat Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary. Rep. Carolyn Maloney continues to hold a narrow lead in her primary race, and Mondaire Jones is likely to win the 8-person primary race to replace Rep. Nita Lowey. In the State Legislature, incumbent Assemblymembers Michael DenDekker, Michael Miller, Aravella Simotas, Steve Otis, and Thomas Abinanti are likely to lose their primary races. As a result of this large uptick in absentee voters, final vote totals may not be known for several weeks. Read NYSAR’s full breakdown of primary election results here.
Western NY Senator Ortt elected new Republican Leader in Senate
Western New York State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) won a leadership vote among Senate Republicans to become the new Senate Minority Leader. Senator Ortt replaces outgoing Senator John Flanagan, who is retiring after 34 years in the legislature.
NYS delays state aid to local governments
Twelve cities had their May and June payments from the state delayed 20 percent as the state looks to address its own $13 billion revenue hole due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cuts include $20 million to Buffalo, $19 million to Yonkers, $17.5 million to Rochester and $12 million to Syracuse. Smaller cities also had their aid held back, such as nearly $600,000 in White Plains and $300,000 in Corning. A full list can be found here.
Weekly Report for June 19, 2020
Governor Cuomo signs rent relief voucher bill into law
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020, which creates a $100 million interim residential rental assistance voucher program to provide voucher payments to landlords on behalf of tenants facing a rent burden due to the loss of income from COVID-19. The program applies to the period from April 1 through July 31, 2020. NYSAR will be requesting additional details on the program from the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and lawmakers. You can read more here.
New statewide fair housing requirements go into effect June 20
New fair housing regulations that were adopted by the Department of State go into effect June 20. Every licensee must provide a new fair housing disclosure form to clients, a new fair housing notice is required to be posted in every broker’s office, and video and audio recording of every fair housing continuing education class is now required.
A copy of the Fair Housing and Anti-Discrimination Form (HADF) can be found HERE.
A copy of the Fair Housing Notice for posting can be found HERE.
A copy of the Fair Housing CE Recording regulation can be found HERE.
Vote in State and Federal Primary Elections on June 23
State and federal Primary Elections will be held June 23. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requires County Boards of Elections to mail absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters in the state for the June 23 elections. A full list of primary candidates and districts they are running in can be found on the State Board of Elections website here.
Weekly Report for June 12, 2020
Brokers Allowed to Continue to Collect Commissions as a Landlord’s Agent until at least September 11
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James requested, and was granted, an extension of the temporary restraining order that NYSAR and others filed in response to the guidance from the Department of State asserting that a landlord’s agent was prohibited from collecting a broker fee/commission. With the extension granted, landlord’s agents are permitted to continue collecting commissions from a tenant until at least September 11, 2020. For updates, please check the NYSAR website. NYSAR will advise its members of any developments moving forward.
State Legislature Returns to Albany Passing Police Reforms and Local Bills
The State Legislature returned to Albany this week to vote on and pass a series of law enforcement reform bills, which included the repeal of a long-standing statute that prevents the release of police disciplinary records. Lawmakers also took up numerous local impact bills. One bill, which passed the Senate, would extend the Town of Warwick’s community preservation fund and real estate transfer tax. NYSAR opposed this bill and will be meeting with Assemblyman Karl Brabenec who is carrying it in the Assembly.
NYC Council Holds Hearings on Property Tax Relief Bills
Two NYC Council bills that aim to bring property tax relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic gained support from landlords Wednesday but drew concern from mayoral staff regarding their budget impact. The Council’s Finance Committee considered the bills in a remote hearing as the council looks to adopt a city budget by June 30. One bill would allow commercial property owners to defer taxes on real property with an assessed value of more than $250,000 if the owners were affected by the pandemic. The second bill would allow residential owners whose properties have an assessed value of $250,000 or less to defer tax payments for three months without interest or penalty. Read more here.
President Trump Signs New Law Relaxing PPP Rules: What You Need to Know
On June 5, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) to address concerns expressed by small businesses regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aimed at providing COVID-19 relief. The new law:
- Extends the PPP program through the end of this year. The application deadline remains June 30, 2020;
- Increases the amount of time borrowers have to use their loans from 8 to 24-weeks (borrowers who use it in 8 will not be penalized);
- Decreases the mandatory payroll amount of the loan from 75% to 60%;
- Extends the forbearance period for a PPP loan from six-months to a year;
- Extends the re-hire exemption for businesses from June 30 to December 31.
For up-to-date COVID resources, visit https://nysarcovidupdates.com.
Weekly Report for June 5, 2020
NYSAR Phase 2 Guidance for Real Estate Activity and FAQs
NYSAR is providing the following sample guidance based upon information contained in the Interim Guidance Document issued by Empire State Development and the Department of Health. Brokers must review and affirm the Interim Guidance Document found here prior to implementing Phase 2 requirements. A summary document of the requirements can also be found here. You can also find a NYSAR Phase 2 FAQ section here.
In agreement with NYSAR, state lawmakers ask Governor Cuomo to allow limited in-person showings statewide
On June 1, a bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo in support of NYSAR’s position on allowing limited in-person licensed real estate services statewide. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Assemblyman Michael Cusick, both from Staten Island, led the effort. You can read the letter here.
Vote in State and Federal Primary Elections on June 23
State and Federal Primary Elections will be held June 23, 2020. Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order requires County Boards of Elections to mail absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters in the state for the June 23 elections. A full list of primary candidates and districts they are running in can be found on the State Board of Elections website here.