Weekly Report for October 29, 2021
Agreement on federal social spending bill includes housing investment; excludes taxes on real estate investment
On Thursday, Congressional leaders released a framework for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. The $1.75 trillion framework agreement includes NAR priorities such as investments in affordable housing and down-payment assistance. More importantly, the framework agreement does not include taxes on real estate investment, such as 1031 like-kind exchange limits, capital gains tax increases, change in step-up in basis, tax on unrealized capital gains, increased estate tax, carried-interest provisions, or 199A limits. Read more here.
State Attorney General Letitia James announces run for governor
On Friday, State Attorney General Letitia James announced her candidacy for New York Governor setting the stage for a primary race against current governor Kathy Hochul next year. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also recently filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections to create a campaign committee to run for governor.
Don’t forget to vote! Early voting now open – Election Day is Tuesday, November 2
Early in-person voting is now open to all New Yorkers and runs through Sunday, October 31. November 1 is the last day to apply in person for an absentee ballot for the November general election, which is Tuesday, November 2. To find your early voting polling site or your election day polling site, visit the state Board of Elections here.
Weekly Report for October 22, 2021
Early voting across the state begins October 23
On Saturday, October 23, New Yorkers can begin early in-person voting, which runs through Sunday, October 31. November 1 is the last day to apply in person for an absentee ballot for the November general election, which is Tuesday, November 2. To find your early voting polling site or your election day polling site, visit the state Board of Elections here.
Rochester vacancy rate fails to meet threshold for rent control
A recent rental vacancy study commissioned by the city of Rochester found that the city does not meet the state threshold for rent stabilization protections. New York State passed a law in 2019 allowing cities to opt-in to a rent stabilization program, under which the state would limit how much landlords could increase rents each year, however, those cities must show a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent in its rental housing. The Rochester study found a vacancy rate of 9 percent. Read more here.
Eligible landlords can still apply for rental assistance funding, even if tenants have vacated
Earlier this month, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that an additional $125 million in state funding is now available to assist landlords whose tenants have vacated with arrears or declined to apply or participate in the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Landlords can apply for the new first come, first serve Landlord Rental Assistance Program as of October 7 for funding of up to 12 months of past-due rent. You can find more information on the new Landlord Rental Assistance Program, including qualifications and application process by clicking here.
Weekly Report for October 15, 2021
REALTORS® meet with New York City Council Members on harmful bills
This week, NYSAR staff along with New York City Issues Working Group chair Deborah Iemma, Vice Chair Melissa Gomez, and local REALTORS® hosted a series of meetings with New York City Council Members to express concerns with several bills before the City Council, including 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; Int. 1423 which would prohibit the collection of tenant-paid broker fees; and Int. 471 which would ban the placing of signs on sidewalks and streets. NYSAR has been engaged on many of these issues over the years and has additional meetings scheduled with city lawmakers. The City Council recently held a public hearing on Int. 1796 where REALTORS® testified in opposition. NYSAR’s formal testimony can be read here.
NYSAR submits testimony at Assembly hearing on accessory dwelling units
On October 13, the State Assembly held a public hearing to consider new proposals that would legalize and regulate accessory dwelling units (ADUs) statewide. Specifically, the Assembly hearing focused on a bill (A.4854/S.4547) that would require localities to adopt local ordinances that allow ADUs on new and existing lots zoned for residential use, and impose good cause eviction provisions on any ADUs. While NYSAR supports the idea of providing additional opportunities for the creation of more affordable housing by allowing for the development of ADUs, we strongly oppose any inclusion of good cause eviction provisions, which would cap annual rent increases to 1.5 times the CPI or 3 percent and restrict the property owner’s ability to evict a tenant, even in cases where a lease has expired. You can read NYSAR’s full testimony here.
Flood insurance rates could increase for some homeowners, while decreasing for others
Following the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) reassessment of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) known as Risk Rating 2.0, some property owners could see increases in their flood insurance premiums, according to reports. New flood insurance rates under the NFIP took effect October 1, 2021 for new policyholders and will take effect for existing policyholders in April 2022. New rates will now take into consideration home values, therefore homes of greater value could see higher premiums, while less expensive homes could see a decrease in their premiums. NAR’s FAQ on this topic can be found here.
Weekly Report for October 8, 2021
Landlords can now apply for new rental assistance funding if tenants have vacated or have not cooperated with ERAP application
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that $125 million in state funding is now available to assist landlords whose tenants have vacated with arrears or declined to apply or participate in the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Landlords can apply beginning October 7 for the new first come, first serve Landlord Rental Assistance Program for funding of up to 12 months of past-due rent. New York is reporting that the state has so far approved more than 63,000 direct payments to landlords, totaling $804 million in rental assistance. You can find more information on the new Landlord Rental Assistance Program, including qualifications and application process by clicking here.
FEMA to phase in new flood insurance pricing system
On October 1, FEMA began phasing in a new flood insurance pricing system called Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action. Through a two-phase process, rate changes are scheduled to take effect for new flood insurance policies on Oct. 1, 2021, and for existing policy renewals on April 1, 2022. NAR supports the changes and has developed the following comprehensive packet of educational information for your members to talk with customers about Risk Rating 2.0. Find more information here.
State Democratic Party Chair endorses Governor Hochul for 2022 run
Earlier this week, state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs announced he is supporting Governor Kathy Hochul in her run for governor next year. Several upstate county Democratic chairs have also endorsed Governor Hochul. Potential Democratic primary challengers could include including state Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, however there have been no official announcements yet. Read more here.
Weekly Report for October 1, 2021
Watch virtually NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum October 5 at 8:30 a.m.
Tune in to NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on October 5 at 8:30 a.m. for an in-depth political and legislative update on state and federal issues, featuring guest speakers Joe Harris, Vice President of Government Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS® and Betty McTamney, National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Fundraising Liaison. You can find a link to the virtual meeting on NYSAR’s Meeting Planner here.
Governor Hochul declares new State of Emergency; Cold call ban remains in effect
On September 27, Governor Kathy Hochul issued an Executive Order declaring a new statewide disaster emergency due to healthcare staffing shortages in hospitals and health facilities, which will remain in effect until at least October 27, 2021. Additionally, the existing gun violence state of emergency remains in effect until at least October 8, which could be renewed by the governor. As a result, licensees are still prohibited from conducting telemarketing and cold calls. NYSAR is continuing to urge state lawmakers to resolve this issue by allowing telemarketing practices during states of emergencies that do not impair the state’s telecommunication systems. You can make your voice heard on this issue by Taking Action here.
Seasonal rentals now exempt from certain provisions of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act
Recently there has been a change to the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA), creating an exemption for a “seasonal use dwelling unit” (SUDU). The exemption permits a registered SUDU to collect more than one month’s rent as security deposit and advances on rent. Governor Kathy Hochul signed this measure into law on September 30, 2021, effective immediately. NYSAR advocated for these changes to the rent reform package passed by lawmakers in 2019. The text of the new law can be found here.
NYSAR and Staten Island Board of REALTORS® providing assistance to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ida – Apply by October 31
The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® and New York State Association of REALTORS® are helping provide financial aid to assist eligible residents impacted by Hurricane Ida’s flooding through the National Association of REALTORS® Relief Foundation. Eligible applicants may receive up to $2,000 to help with monthly mortgage expenses for a primary residence damaged by Hurricane Ida, or rental costs due to displacement. The deadline for application submission is October 31, 2021. The application and more information can be found here.