Smoke Clearing

San Rafael, California this week became the largest city to ban smoking inside all multifamily units, including condos; one week after Boston banned all smoking inside public housing units. Can New York be far behind?

ABO opposed two City Council bills this week. Intro 940 would create an annual fire department safety inspection of all buildings and establish a $400 or $500 fee depending on building size. ABO objected that the bill does not create any new authority for the Fire Department and is just an excuse to impose a fee.

Intro 575 would amend the building code to require 65 to 250 square feet of central storage space for recyclables depending on building size, plus storage on every floor in taller buildings. ABO noted that recycling requirements and technology were evolving and storage issues should be left to design professionals, not cast in stone by law.

Is New York an expensive place to live? It depends on how you look at it according to a new study by the Center for Housing Policy of the National Housing Conference. The authors believe that housing and transportation costs need to be considered together to measure the real burden on working families (you have to live and get to work). Using the combined cost standard, New York ranks about tenth most affordable among the largest 25 U.S. cities, closely tied with Denver, Seattle, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. By contrast, looking at housing costs alone, New York ranks 21st. Miami is least affordable by both measures, the study said.

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