September 2023

Weekly Report for September 29, 2023

Attend NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum at the Fall Business Meetings: Oct. 3 at 8:30 a.m.
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum will be held in-person on Tuesday, October 3 at 8:30 a.m. in the “Mohawk” room as part of NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings at Turning Stone Resort. We are pleased to have as our guest speaker Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. Additionally, NYSAR Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly and NAR Senior Political Representative Densay Sengsoulavong will be providing state and federal legislative updates.

Businesses raise concerns with NY’s climate laws
Over the last year, NYSAR led an effort raising feasibility concerns with New York’s transition away from fossil fuels, specifically as it relates to housing. This week, business organizations are echoing those concerns, warning of unintended consequences on consumers. Following passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and subsequent laws in this year’s state budget, all new construction under seven stories must not include any fossil fuel equipment beginning in 2026, and all larger buildings in 2029. On September 29, NYSAR joined dozens of business organizations across the state urging the state’s Building Code Council to carefully consider feasibility and affordability prior to the adoption of any code updates to advance the state’s energy and climate change policies. Read the full letter here.

NYC Mayor announces city housing vouchers to be used across the state; gets pushback from local counties
On Tuesday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced he is expanding the city’s voucher rental assistance program to subsidize rent of low-income and homeless city residents anywhere in the state. This change in policy could allow city residents to use a NYC-issued housing voucher in any community outside of NYC. County leaders outside of NYC immediately came out in opposition to the new policy. Read more here.

Weekly Report for September 22, 2023

Legislative Policy Forum speaker announced for NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum will be held in-person on Tuesday, October 3 at 8:30 a.m. in the “Mohawk” room as part of NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings at Turning Stone Resort. We are pleased to have as our guest speaker Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. Additionally, NYSAR Director of Government Affairs Mike Kelly will be providing a state and federal legislative update.

Republicans win a temporary freeze in New York’s redistricting legal challenge
Republicans won a preliminary round in the latest legal challenge over New York’s congressional districts: the state’s top court on Tuesday declined to force the Independent Redistricting Committee to immediately start drafting new lines. The maps drawn in 2022 were tossed when the courts concluded Democrats did not take the proper steps before enacting them, leading to court-drawn lines that helped Republicans flip three House seats in the state. Democrats have since argued that they should now be allowed to redraft the maps for 2024 rather than rely on the existing ones for the remainder of the decade. The state Court of Appeals is due to hear arguments Nov. 15. Read more here.

Gov. Hochul signs law expanding voting by mail
On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of election law bills that includes a measure allowing all registered voters in New York to cast an early voting ballot by mail. A lawsuit challenging the new law was filed by Republicans immediately following the signing of the bill. Another bill signed into law allows New Yorkers to register to vote and cast their ballots at their polling place on the same day on the first day of the early voting period. Read more here.

Cannabis banking bill SAFER Act heads to Senate committee next week
State-sanctioned cannabis businesses would be able to access banks and credit unions under the latest version of a bill supported by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. If passed, the bill, known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, would allow cannabis operations to make deposits and access insurance and other financial services – activities that are currently illegal under federal law, despite 47 states legalizing some form of medical or recreational cannabis. Read more here.

 Weekly Report for September 15, 2023

Gov. Hochul signs law nearly doubling maximum fines on “Do Not Call” Registry violators
On September 13, Governor Hochul signed into law new legislation that increases the maximum fine from $11,000 to $20,000 for persons who violate the “Do Not Call Registry” telemarketing law. The new law takes effect immediately. Read more here.

NYC building owners could get 2 more years to comply with Local Law 97
According to new rules proposed by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) enforcing Local Law 97, building owners in New York City who make a “good faith effort” to meet new emission caps but don’t achieve them by the 2024 deadline may get two more years before incurring fines. Local Law 97, passed by the City Council in 2019, imposes limits on carbon on all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, including apartments, coops and offices. Most building owners the law applies to must comply starting in 2024, with stricter emissions limits imposed in 2030 and 2050. Owners not in compliance could face fines of $268 for every ton of emissions above the limit. NYSAR is continuing to review the newly proposed rule. Read more here.

Democrat wins Queens special election for Assembly
On Tuesday, Democrat Sam Berger was declared the winner of a special election for the 27th Assembly District in Queens defeating Republican David Hirsch. Berger secured 55 percent of the vote succeeding former Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal who stepped down to take a position at United Jewish Appeal-Federation. Read more here.

Weekly Report for September 8, 2023

NYSAR Legislative Working Group Virtual Meeting Schedule
NYSAR’s Fall Business Meetings are scheduled to be a hybrid event with virtual meetings being held via Zoom from Sept. 18-22, and in-person meetings to be held Oct. 1-4. Register for the NYSAR Fall Business Meetings. NYSAR’s Legislative Working Groups are set to meet virtually:

Monday, September 18

  • Commercial Issues Working Group – 11am – 12pm
  • NYC Issues Working Group – 1-2 pm
  • Co-Op Issues Working Group – 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Tuesday, September 19

  • Article 12a Working Group – 3pm – 4:30pm

Links to attend these Working Groups and other virtual meetings will be available on NYSAR’s Meeting Planner.

Click here for a full schedule for the 2023 “Elevate Your Profession” Fall Business Meetings.

Report: NYC’s property taxes rise along with burden on middle-class homeowners
According to a recent report released by NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused property tax disparity to worsen in New York City. From 2007 to 2024, the median tax bill for the city’s most expensive family homes grew by 131 percent, compared to 149 percent for the city’s least expensive homes. Renters are also impacted by the city’s tax system since property taxes represent a large cost to the building owner which is often passed on to renters. Property taxes account for about 45 percent of the city’s revenue. Comptroller DiNapoli recommends city and state leaders address disparities in the levying of property taxes, which represent an outsized share of owner costs, especially for lower-income households. Read more here.

National Flood Insurance Program set to expire Sept. 30, 2023
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) authority to provide flood insurance is currently set to expire September 30, 2023. As Congress discusses a short-term extension of funding for the program, NAR is urging Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the program. NAR has provided an FAQ section on what this means for upcoming closings and several proactive steps your clients can take in the meantime.

Weekly Report for September 1, 2023

Governor Hochul launches “Pro-Housing Communities Program” to prioritize $650 million to localities committed to housing growth
On August 31, Governor Hochul launched her “Pro-Housing Communities Program,” which will direct $650 million in state discretionary funds to municipalities committed to building more housing. These “pro-housing communities” will receive priority consideration for a number of different economic development and housing grants. Earlier this year in June, the Senate and Assembly included in their one-house budgets a proposal for $500 million in incentives for local governments to spur housing growth. Read more here.

Budget talks in Albany already beginning – housing issues and $9.1 billion deficit among top issues
New state Budget Director Blake Washington has begun initial talks within Governor Hochul’s administration to address next year’s looming $9.1 billion deficit. Washington entered the new role after being a longtime budget advisor in the State Assembly. The governor is expected to release her executive budget proposal in January 2024 where the need for housing will be a top issue. NYSAR is continuing work to advocate for the inclusion of a first-time homebuyer savings account program into budget negotiations for the upcoming year, while also supporting the need for increased housing development.

NYC Mayor considers allowing rental voucher use outside of the city to relocate asylum seekers
New York City Mayor Eric Adams may be considering making changes to the city’s housing voucher program that would allow them to be used statewide instead of only in the five boroughs in order to help relieve the city’s shelter population due to the increase in asylum seekers. Details, like how much the rental voucher would be worth in upstate counties and whether those landlords would be open to the program, are unclear at this time. The rental assistance program currently ranges from up to $1,751 for a single person to up to $2,696 for four people, according to the Department of Social Services. Read more here.