Turning Up the Heat

Nighttime building temperatures will have to be a minimum of 62 degrees next winter, regardless of outside temperature, under legislation passed by the City Council yesterday and expected to be signed by the Mayor. CHIP and ABO opposed the measure, and an earlier version that proposed raising daytime temperature requirements to 72 was amended after our objections. Environmental groups also opposed the bill as a waste of energy.

President Trump’s budget proposal calls for reduced support for public housing and Section 8, and an increase in the rent that voucher tenants must pay out of pocket to 35% of income from 30%, but it is not clear that Congress will go along.

The Appellate Division, 1st Department, this week, agreed to the eviction of a tenant for renting space in her apartment through Airbnb. The court in Goldstein vs. Lipetz, was “unanimous in rejecting defendant’s primary argument … in which she contends that the 93 transient, short-term, paying guests she hosted over a year and a half were “roommates.””

A Democrat won a formerly Republican State Assembly seat from Long Island in a special election Tuesday, and another Democrat won a vacant Senate seat, bringing the ‘official’ total of Democrats in the State Senate to a majority of 32. The Independent Democratic Conference and Sen. Simcha Felder still caucus with Republicans, however, although no love is lost between them…with the IDC claiming the mantle of progressives and Felder arguing strangely for party unity.

Last week we reported that New York City was number one in the world in construction costs. This week the Lincoln Institute reported that we are still number one in property taxes. The effective tax rate on apartment buildings in New York City is five times the rate in Seattle, Boston, and Washington, DC, and four times the rate in Chicago or Philadelphia.

The Rent Guidelines Board this morning released reports on the Rent Stabilized housing stock and housing inventory generally. The net number of stabilized units only fell by 677 in 2016 after accounting for new units with tax incentives and deregulations. The number of in rem units managed by the City of New York has fallen to a record low 125, from a peak of about 100,000 in the 1980s, due to lien sales, third party transfers, and other programs.

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