November 2021

Weekly Report for November 26, 2021

NYSAR’s Legislative Steering Committee meets to oppose pair of NYC bills
This week, NYSAR’s Legislative Steering Committee took action to direct NYSAR to oppose a pair of bills before the New York City Council. The first bill (Int. 2317) would ban the use of fossil fuels, including natural gas, in any new residential and commercial construction in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed his support for the bill. The second bill being opposed (Int. 1977) would establish a right of first opportunity to purchase residential buildings at list price for qualified not-for-profit organizations certified with NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) before a building is offered for sale to the public. Owners of residential buildings with 3 or more rental units would be required to provide notice of sale to HPD no less than 180 days before taking action. NYSAR is sharing our position on both bills with the NYC Council and Mayor de Blasio’s office, as well as meeting with individual city council members. Read more here.

Weekly Report for November 19, 2021

NYSAR meets with NYC Council Member Louis’ office
This week, NYSAR staff and members of NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group, including Chair Deborah Iemma and Vice-Chair Melissa Gomez, met with New York City Council Member Farah Louis’ office (representing parts of Brooklyn) to discuss ongoing concerns with several bills before the City Council. Those bills include Int. 2047 which would prohibit brokers and landlords from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants; Int. 1796 which would impose commercial rent regulations in the city; and Int. 471 which would ban the placing of signs on sidewalks and streets. This meeting continues NYSAR’s series of meetings with New York City Council Members on critical REALTOR® issues.

City of Poughkeepsie passes good cause eviction bill
On November 16, the city of Poughkeepsie Common Council passed legislation to adopt a good cause eviction law following the adoption of similar legislation in the cities of Albany and Newburgh. If signed into law, the measure prevents landlords from evicting a tenant without cause, even in cases where a lease has expired. The legislation also caps the amount which rent may be increased year over year. NYSAR strongly opposed the measure and continues to oppose state legislation that would impose good cause eviction standards statewide. Tenant activists have recently stated that efforts to support good cause eviction will be a legislative priority at the state level heading into 2022.

NYC proposal would ban fossil fuels in any newly constructed buildings
The New York City Council is considering a bill (Int. 2317) that would ban fossil fuels, including natural gas, in any newly constructed buildings and buildings that have undergone major renovations. More than 50 cities in the country have taken similar actions, however, New York City would be the largest municipality to impose such restrictions if approved. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio supports passing the bill this year. NYSAR is closely monitoring this issue and similar legislation at the state level. Read more here.

Weekly Report for November 12, 2021

Congress passes $1.2 billion infrastructure spending bill; President Biden to sign Monday
Congress, last week, passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with bipartisan votes. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law on Monday. The infrastructure bill contains $550 billion in new federal spending, which will largely be invested over five years. New York stands to receive $12.6 billion in federal highway money; $9.8 billion for public transit, $2.6 billion to improve water infrastructure and $1.9 billion for bridge replacement and repairs. New York airports would also receive $685 million for renovations and $100 million would go to expand broadband coverage cross the state through incentives to help low-income families. You can read more here.

Governor Hochul requests additional $996 million in ERAP funds from federal government
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New York State has requested $996 million in additional federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to assist landlords and tenants. In total, the state has said its program has either obligated or paid more than $2 billion in rental assistance, covering roughly 165,000 applications. Read more here.

Candidates announce run for state Attorney General
Two candidates so far have announced their intent to run for state Attorney General in 2022 to replace Letitia James who announced she is running for governor next year. Senator Shelley Mayer of Westchester and former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout have formally announced their run. Several other candidates have also expressed interest in running. Read more here.

Weekly Report for November 5, 2021

Buffalo Mayor Brown declares victory following write-in campaign and REALTOR® support
The New York State Association of REALTORS® and Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® helped support the re-election of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown through an Independent Expenditure campaign, which included strategic outreach to voters via mail, phone calls, in-person door-to-door canvassing, and online video ads. These efforts were not coordinated with the Brown campaign. Mayor Brown’s opponent, Democrat India Walton, was the only name on the ballot following her June primary win, forcing voters to write-in Mayor Brown’s name to cast their vote for him. Byron Brown currently holds a possible 59 percent of the vote, however actual results are pending a hand count of the write-in and absentee ballots. Read more here.

2021 General Election results
Democrats in New York City swept all city-wide elections with Eric Adams elected to be the next Mayor, Brad Lander won  his race for City Comptroller and Jumaane Williams won  re-election to Public Advocate. The New York City Council will continue to hold a large Democratic majority with Republicans possibly flipping up to four seats in races still too close to call. Democrats currently hold a 48-3 majority in the City Council. Outside of New York City, Republicans had more success, winning races for Nassau County Executive, Nassau County District Attorney, and Suffolk County District Attorney. A summary of more these races and more competitive races across the state can be found here.

Governor Hochul nominates Assemblymember Rodriguez to be next Secretary of State
Governor Kathy Hochul has nominated Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez of East Harlem to be the state’s Secretary of State, replacing current Secretary of State Rossana Rosado who was nominated by former governor Cuomo. The Secretary of State position heads the Department of State, which has the responsibilities of permitting new building and energy codes, licensing for real estate professionals, registering businesses and consumer protections. Read more here.