Sandy Residue

The City issued mixed messages on post-Sandy actions this week:

Heat and hot water violations on storm damaged properties will be prosecuted immediately unless the owner corrects the conditions or signs up for the City’s Rapid Repair Program, Mayor Bloomberg announced.

Class 1 and Class 2 buildings that the Department of Buildings red tagged for storm damage can delay paying property tax bills due January 1st, interest free, until April. Most of the properties are single family homes, but there are a handful of apartments. Water bills for red and yellow tag buildings are also being postponed.

City Marshals resumed residential evictions this week in buildings where essential services are being maintained, although tenant attorneys and pols see no reason why all evictions shouldn’t be stopped until year end, or probably ever.

The federal response to Sandy, particularly how it will effect affordable housing programs, will be explored at a free New York Affordable Housing Management Association seminar with HUD officials December 5th at 9:15 a.m. in Manhattan Plaza on 43rd Street. Registration is required.

A settlement was announced yesterday in Roberts v. Tishman, with the current and former owners of Stuyvesant Town agreeing to adjust rents and pay overcharges for deregulating apartments in buildings with J-51 tax benefits. The State Court of Appeals found the practice illegal in 2009, but offered no guidance on what was legal. The proposed settlement is consistent with recent lower court decisions, establishing a base date rent of the amount charged January 22, 2003 — four years prior to the initial tenant complaint in this case — plus subsequent lawful adjustments.

Meanwhile the battle for control of the New York State Senate will continue well into next week as the courts review challenged ballots and party leaders continue to maneuver.

It’s enough to make you want to build somewhere else, in which case a projection of household formation says Houston, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Dallas, will see faster growth – and demand – than New York over the next five years.

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