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Weekly Report

Weekly Report for August 16, 2019

Governor Cuomo signs workplace harassment and discrimination legislation
Governor Cuomo signed legislation on August 12th to lower the legal threshold for workplace harassment claims. The new law eliminates the previously used “severe and pervasive” standard and now defines harassment as any conduct that subjects someone to inferior treatment based on age, race, sex, religion or other specified category. The law covers all private employers and includes a host of other measures designed to address workplace harassment and discrimination. 

HUD releases new FHA condo loan policies
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently issued guidance finalizing new Federal Housing Authority condominium loan policies. The loan policies are expected to yield thousands of new homeownership opportunities, once the new rule takes effect in mid-October. Condominium sales have declined by 3.3 percent since May and 6.5 percent from the same time last year. NAR backed these loan policies and worked with HUD over the last decade on their development. Read more about the new policies here.

Retired Major General prepares to run in the 19th Congressional District
Major General Anthony German, an Oneonta Republican, is preparing to run for the seat in the 19th Congressional District currently held by first-term Congressman Antonio Delgado. German retired from the New York National Guard in February after serving as the 53rd Adjutant General of New York. Two other Republican candidates have registered campaign committees. Congressman Delgado defeated former rep. John Faso by five percentage points in the 2018 election. 

State Senator looks to build on the federal Opportunity Zone program
State Senator James Sanders (D-Queens) indicated that the State is exploring the possibility of setting up  additional opportunity zones. Sanders plans to meet with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to discuss a plan for opportunity zones in the city and state, which would add more incentives for investors. The federal Opportunity Zone program was established as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to boost investment in low-income areas. NAR recently announced its Qualified Opportunity Zones toolkit, which can be found here

NYC Property Tax Reform Commission to hold additional hearings amidst challenges
The Property Tax Reform Commission convened in May 2018 by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to hold additional hearings after missing its deadline to issue a preliminary report earlier this year. The hearing dates have not yet been announced. The Commission held several hearings last fall and is expected to issue proposals designed to reform the City’s property tax system. Read about challenges to reforming New York City’s property tax system here.

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