DOB to Speed Approvals, Increase Enforcement

The Buildings Department yesterday announced an ambitious plan to cut plan approval times by one third, adding 159 plan examiners over two years. Eventually, DOB would like to have 100 percent of applications and payments filed online. There will also be more opportunities for self-certification of projects. At the same time, they want to add 34 inspectors and create a new ‘risk management’ unit to increase enforcement.

The changes are touted as part of the citywide effort to meet Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing goals, but tenant and neighborhood opposition to the Mayor’s plans also rose this week as residents of areas targeted for new construction objected and advocates attacked the Mayor’s proposed reforms in 421a tax incentives as inadequate.

Even the Mayor apparently agrees with a City Council move yesterday to block conversion of hotel units to housing in order to protect union hotel workers jobs.

Next Friday is the quarterly deadline for ABO members to file for rebates on supplies they have already purchased from Delta, Lutron, Glidden, Honeywell and dozens of other manufacturers. These rebates are on top of any discounts or rebates already taken, so check out your member benefit right now.

ABO is formally combining operations with Community Housing Improvement Program, Inc., a leading association of residential owners and managers. We will have more details in a separate announcement soon. In the meantime, members are welcome at a CHIP seminar on Housing Maintenance Code Compliance, Wednesday, May 20th, from 9 a.m. to noon at the New York Lawyers Association, 15 Vesey Street. Registration is required.

Members can also celebrate the new relationship at CHIP’s annual golf and tennis outing, and summer cocktail and dinner party, June 1st at the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury. Please call 212 838-7442 or email for details.

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