Republicans won a slim majority of 32 out of 63 New York State Senate seats in the election, Tuesday. Several pundits opined that this means the Urstadt law may not be repealed when current rent laws expire in June, but as Sen. Brad Hoylman told the Daily News “In Albany, it’s all about what you are willing to trade.” Modifications in luxury decontrol will also be on the table and, when it comes to housing issues, Governor Cuomo will probably be focused on tax incentives to burnish his moderate credentials and all sides may see rent regulations as “tradeable” as they have in the past. In the meantime, Senate Republicans will have to turn to some Democrats on votes where any one member of the Republican caucus has a problem. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Silver increased his lock on the Democratic majority in that chamber by winning 106 out of 150 seats there, up from 98.
In Washington, the Republican victories in US Senate races have pluses and minuses for housing development, some of which are outlined in a detailed analysis by NAHB. One possible result is a threat to mortgage interest deductions. Housing finance reforms may further restrict lending.
One election result was a big surprise, to New Yorkers. Bayonne, New Jersey, residents voted 58-42 to keep vacancy decontrol.
Back on this side of the Hudson, the law and courts are still pro-regulation. In Mexico Leasing vs. Jones, the Appellate Term, 2nd Department, allowed succession to a stabilized apartment despite the fact that the prime tenant hid the fact that they moved years earlier. The Court found that “RSC § 2523.5 (b) (1) focuses on the remaining family member’s having resided in the apartment “as a primary residence” within the two-year period prior to the tenant’s permanent vacating of the apartment, and does not insist upon the tenant of record’s having so resided during that period.”
The Citizens Housing and Planning Council debuted a new interactive map of the City this week, showing how neighborhood demographics changed from 2000 to 2010. Headlines noted how the Black middle class shrank across the City, but the map just shows results in City neighborhoods: it does not indicate if, for example, people simply lost income or, perhaps, moved to the suburbs.
The New York State Builders Association Member Rebate Program for building supplies now includes a special program to maximize any rebates available from local utilities for buying everything from appliances to windows. You can apply yourself, or let this new service streamline the process for you.