So Much For Independence

Mayor de Blasio this week acknowledged “instructing” the Rent Guidelines Board members who froze rents the past two years. There are two vacancies on the Board that he is expected to fill shortly, and a preliminary guidelines vote for next year has been scheduled April 25th.

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, released yesterday, would cut Housing Choice Section 8 vouchers statewide by about 9 percent, according to the New York Housing Conference. Elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program would gut the City Housing Department budget, where federal funds pay nearly half the staff, and the plan would also eliminate the HOME Investment Partnership and Choice Neighborhoods programs.

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. this coming Tuesday, March 21st in the Javits Center to keynote our BuildingsNY trade show. Register today.

Multifamily building permits issued in January and February tripled from the prior year, but an analysis by the Real Deal found many were additional permits for units that got foundation permits prior to the expiration of the 421a tax incentive program the year before.

Meanwhile, the 421a debate continues in Albany. The State Senate introduced a “one house” budget bill expanding on the Governor’s latest proposal by adding benefits for new homeownership projects up to 80 units (from 35) and with assessed values up to $85,000 (from $65,000). The State Assembly staked out its position with a one house bill that didn’t include any 421a program.

Any architects, engineers or developers with opinions on New York City’s building, plumbing, and mechanical codes have until March 30th to volunteer for official Department of Buildings advisory committees conducting a triennial code review.

The Electrical Code is not up for review, but the City Council, yesterday, passed legislation doubling fines for performing unlicensed electrical work

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