Whoops, Was That Stabilized?

The owners of 2400 rental apartments receiving 421a tax benefits failed to register them as rent stabilized with DHCR, according to the State Attorney General and City Housing Department. The agencies sent 194 owners notices this week ordering them to register their buildings and provide the tenants with stabilized leases. The AG said the buildings filed for benefits as condominiums, but then chose to rent when the sales market weakened after 2008.

DHCR, in turn, was the target of criticism by the State Comptroller this week. Apparently the agency’s oversight of state funds use for NYCHA renovation programs was lax, at best. In some cases, the agency’s latest information on how NYCHA was spending state funds was five years old. They reported that five incomplete contracts were finished, and believed that eight out of ten completed projects were incomplete.

Locally, a former City Finance Commissioner reported that the City had violated the State Constitutional cap on property taxes by billions of dollars since 2005…and City officials yawned. Martha Stark revealed that the City changed its calculation of the cap a decade ago by applying the 2.5 per cent cap to taxes received after abatements, rather than to the total levy as had traditionally been done. She said there was no legal authority for the change, so lawyers are undoubtedly reviewing it.

The construction boom had its down side in Fiscal 2015, ending June 30th. Construction permits were up 156 percent, but a 34 percent increase in construction accidents was reported this week. Be careful out there.

Future multifamily construction in large parts of New York might not benefit from FHA insurance or loans according to changes in flood plain boundaries. NAHB has been lobbying to limit the impact of new federal policies on government spending in flood plains, winning concessions on insurance, but with limited success on the multifamily development or rehab side. New York City has also weighed in against proposed new flood maps.

Join us September 10th for the CHIP/ABO seminar on Decoding the Rent Act of 2015, from 9:30 a.m to 12:30 at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue. Space is limited. Registration is required. Call 212 838-7442.

Members are also welcome at a reception and program on funding sources for energy improvements sponsored by CHIP and Original Energy, from 3 to 6 p.m. September 17th at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue. RSVP to rsvp@chipnyc.org.

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