Where There’s Smoke

NY Housing Authority maintenance workers are routinely falsifying reports on whether smoke alarms are working and other safety information, according to a report issued Tuesday by the City Department of Investigation.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation late last week providing for the $30,000 per unit assessed value cap to qualify for J51 benefits to be raised to $32,000 for assessments finalized next year and increase by a cost of living adjustment thereafter.

He also signed a bill allowing SCRIE and DRIE tenants who are disqualified from benefits for just one year because of excessive income to go back to their old frozen rent if they requalify the next year.

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio announced that 20,000 new SCRIE and DRIE tenants had qualified for benefits since the income limit was raised to $50,000 in 2014, and that 77,000 more were potentially eligible.

Perhaps foreshadowing his view on City Council proposals to make it harder for any property owner  to reject prospective tenants for bad credit, the Mayor issued new rules this month for housing lotteries on City assisted housing that prohibit rejecting someone solely for a poor credit score. The new criteria also force owners to ignore most Housing Court histories that do not result in an order of possession or eviction.

HUD assisted housing with 21 units or more will have to begin benchmarking water and energy use with the EPA Portfolio manager, at least triennially, beginning next April according to a notice in the Federal Register this week.

If you missed our Estate Planning seminar yesterday you did not hear the warning about a proposed IRS rule that would prohibit the longstanding practice of discounting the value of property gifts and family trust contributions because the recipients have limited control and cannot market them for full value.

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