Senate Status Quo, For Now

The reported Democratic win in Senator Skelos’ old district in Tuesday’s election technically gives the Democrats a majority in the State Senate, but another Democrat who votes with the Republicans and the existence of the Independent Democratic Conference will likely mean no formal changes in the current legislative session. After November, look out.

Governor Cuomo, Tuesday, ruled out a new 421-a tax incentive program that wasn’t “accepted as a fair deal by organized labor and the building trades … period.”

The City Council, Wednesday, approved the Mayor’s East New York rezoning plan after the local City Councilman was satisfied by a lowering of income limits for the affordable housing requirements and $257 million in extra city spending. Some questioned whether the price for approval was a floor or a ceiling for Council members in other districts where rezoning is proposed.

The Rent Guidelines Board yesterday revised its Price Index Projection for next year from 4.5 to 5.5%. Originally, the staff projected a 2.6% increase in property taxes, but upon review of the data they discovered that they left out Brooklyn, where assessments are rising rapidly. Now taxes are expected to rise 6.1%. Despite the increase, the commensurate rent adjustments calculated for one year leases are still negative.

The Division of Homes and Community Renewal this week issued an RFP for $70 million in funding under its “Highly Ready Project Initiative,” including new construction and multifamily preservation programs. Additional funds are available for Mitchell Lama, Homes For Working Families, and State Low Income Tax Credit programs, among others.

Mayor de Blasio, yesterday, signed into law a partial amnesty program for ECB fines beginning in the new fiscal year July 1st. The Department of Finance will be authorized to waive interest and default penalties on default judgments for 90 days. On other judgments, settlements of 75% of the judgment and interest waivers are possible.

Hearing are scheduled Wednesday by the City Council Housing and Buildings Committee on bills that would require owners to notify HPD whenever they serve a notice of petition on a tenant who was 62 or older or disabled so that HPD can send the tenants information on responding.

This week’s BuildingsNY exhibitor focus is on SiteCompli. Meet them at the Javits Center May 24-25th.

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