421a Is About Unions Not Housing: Gov

Governor Cuomo told the Building and Construction Trades Council last week that “421a is not about an affordable housing program, 421a is about the principle (of protecting union labor).” Surprise.

Cuomo,  yesterday, trumpeted a $1.4 billion plan to revitalize central Brooklyn with healthcare, housing, parks, and jobs programs, concentrating funds already included in his 2017 budget proposal.

The Governor was silent, however, on the appointment of RuthAnne Visnauskas as Commissioner for Housing and Community Renewal. The announcement was made by her predecessor, James Rubin.

Catch 22. The New York Law Journal reported this week that a Brooklyn Housing Court Judge dismissed a nuisance holdover in 757 Miller Owners LLC vs. Smith, because the owner offered a stabilized renewal lease during the pendency of the case, as required by law. The decision implied that the owner should have made the offer conditional.

CHIP is challenging the latest State Department of Labor minimum wage order that says the value of an apartment’s rent in 1975 has to be used in determining the cash value of free rent today. Jerrold Goldberg of Greenberg Traurig made our case to the Industrial Board of Appeals last week, and a decision is expected by the end of the month.

Federally assisted housing, including Section 8 voucher units, will have to do lead paint risk assessments of the unit and common areas when a child is found to have blood lead levels of just 5 micrograms per deciliter under a new HUD rule adopted one week before Trump was sworn in as President, and effective in July. The old trigger was 10 ug/dl. This is separate from local abatement and investigation requirements.

Federal funding for housing is in play with reports this week that the New York City Housing Authority will get $35 million less this year than anticipated from Washington under cuts already in the works, and HPD Section 8 will be cut $23 million more. President Trump is also considering slashing 14% or $6 billion from HUD programs overall. Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, will talk about this and other key housing policies under the Trump administration at 8:45 a.m. March 21st in the Javits Center to keynote our BuildingsNY trade show. Register today.

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