October 2020

Weekly Report for October 30, 2020

Make Your Plan to Vote – #RealtorsVote
Don’t forget to make your plan to vote – New York State’s early voting period continues through Sunday, November 1. Find your early voting polling place and varying-by-county polling hours here. If you’re voting by absentee ballot, you have until November 3 to deliver your ballot in person to your county board of elections or postmark your ballot. All polling sites are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. More information can be found here.

DOS approves Brooklyn Cease and Desist Zone
On October 28, the Department of State adopted a regulation to establish a cease and desist zone in parts of Brooklyn, which will go into effect November 1, 2020. NYSAR strongly opposed the cease and desist zone, launching a Call for Action urging the Department of State to withdraw the proposal, resulting in hundreds of responses from REALTORS® working in the region. More information from the DOS website can be found here, including a map of the zone. You can also view the 2020 Virtual Fall Business Meetings Legal Update video on the new cease & desist zone by clicking here.

Register for NAR Urban Roundtable – From Vacant to Vibrant, November 2 at 2pm
Tune-in to an expert-led panel discussion on how cities are leveraging strategic partnerships to turn vacant properties into productive community assets; one block at a time. Followed by introductions from Zeke Morris, REALTOR® Party Community Engagement Liaison, Pete Kopf, REALTOR® Party Director, will moderate a panel discussion featuring experts and thought leaders including Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, CEO, Center for Community Progress, The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, San Antonio, and Timothy C. Twardowski, Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP.  Registration is required for the 2020 REALTORS® Conference and Expo to attend the Urban Roundtable.

Weekly Report for October 23, 2020

Gov. Cuomo extends moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions through Jan. 1 2021
On October 20, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 1, 2021. Read more here.

 NYC releases fair housing plan
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released the city’s “Where We Live NYC Plan,” a blueprint for advancing fair housing and affordable housing policies in the five boroughs, which includes an increased focus on housing discrimination by coop boards. NYSAR submitted public comment in March during its draft stage in support of increased transparency in the cooperative application and purchase process, which can be found here. Read more here.

Mandatory sick time for employees goes into effect January 1, 2021
As part of the NYS budget, Governor Cuomo signed into law section 196-b of the NYS Labor Law.  Beginning January 1, 2021, the new section requires all employers to provide sick time to all of their employees including those working part time.  Independent contractors are not considered to be an employee. For more information, click here.

Weekly Report for October 16, 2020

NYSAR meets with NYC Public Advocate’s office on coop transparency
NYSAR met this week with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ office to discuss introducing legislation that would increase transparency in the coop application process and create a timeline for approvals and notifications throughout the purchase process. NYSAR continues to advocate for coop transparency measures at the state and New York City Council level and looks forward to working with the Public Advocate’s office to introduce a bill.

Judge says residential evictions to resume Oct. 12 with “caveats”
New York Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks issued guidance saying that some residential evictions – including those for non-payment of rent and for breaking lease terms – may resume October 12, but the proceedings are expected to take longer than usual. Governor Cuomo signed an executive order extending the Tenant Safe Harbor Act until Jan. 1, 2021, which bars the eviction of tenants financially impacted by Covid-19 for non-payment of rent, but allows landlords to obtain money judgments. The CDC’s rule limiting evictions also remains in effect until the end of the year. Read more here.

New streamlined PPP loan forgiveness process for some borrowers
On October 8, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department announced the release of a new, further simplified forgiveness application for PPP borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less. This will make it much easier for REALTORS® to receive automatic loan forgiveness. Find more details here.

Weekly Report for October 9, 2020

NYSAR opposes Pied-a-Terre tax proposal
Following direction from NYSAR’s Legislative Steering Committee, NYSAR has joined a coalition of groups opposing a pied-a-terre- tax proposal which would authorize New York City to imposes an additional tax surcharge on non-primary residences valued at over $5 million, as well as coops and condos with an assessed value of $300,000 or more. The coalition in opposition to the bill includes the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), and the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums to date. The bill (S.44-B/A.4540-B) has been introduced by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. NYSAR will continue to update its members on any progress regarding this issue.

Statewide survey: Plans to purchase a home at all-time high
According to a Siena College Research Institute statewide survey, plans to purchase a home in the next six-months hit an all-time high at nearly 13 percent of overall consumers and 17 percent among NYC residents. Consumer confidence continues to grow but is still below pre-pandemic levels. The survey was released October 7 and conducted during the months of August and September. Read more here.

Polling shows Democrats Brindisi and Balter with leads in Congressional races
Polling conducted by Siena College Research Institute and shows Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi with a 9-point lead (48-39 percent) over former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney for a rematch in the 22nd Congressional District. Rep. Brindisi won the seat in 2018 narrowly with 51 percent of the vote. A separate poll shows a close race in the 24thCongressional District with Democratic challenger Dana Balter with a 3-point lead (45-42 percent) over Republican incumbent Rep. John Katko. In 2018, Rep. Katko defeated Balter 53-47 percent.

Weekly Report for October 2, 2020

Governor extends ban on COVID-related residential evictions until Jan. 1, 2021
On Monday, Governor Cuomo extended the state’s moratorium on COVID-related residential evictions until January 1, 2021 through Executive Order. Additionally, previous Executive Orders have prohibited charges or fees for late rent payments, and tenants facing financial hardship can still use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time. Earlier in the month, the State’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures was extended until October 20. Read more here.

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging state’s rent regulations
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed in July of last year brought by landlord groups, the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA) and the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), alleging that last year’s rent reform laws were unconstitutional. The landlord groups said they were not surprised by the decision and are planning to appeal.

Congress approves spending bill; extends NFIP for 1 year
The U.S. Senate approved a bill Wednesday that funds the federal government through Dec. 11 and includes a full-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and surface transportation funding. President Trump is expected to sign it. “This is the second year in a row we have secured a full fiscal year extension for flood insurance. It is a victory for REALTORS® and something we fought for very hard,” says Shannon McGahn, the incoming chief advocacy officer for NAR. Speaking on the extension of surface transportation funding, McGahn said, “Transportation projects take years from concept to completion, and any lapse in funding is especially disruptive. This is a big win, especially for our commercial members who are eagerly looking toward a post-coronavirus market.”