Laws and More Laws

Another dozen new laws approved by the New York City Council in December were either signed by the Mayor or enacted by default this week, including provisions to

  • Add requests for proof of citizenship status to the definition of harassment, except is where “otherwise required by law” or “requested for a specific and limited purpose,” such as, presumably, a credit check. Ask for Tax i.d. rather than SSN.
  • Require annual apartment inspections for mold and allergens.
  • Further limit construction noise, including noise from interior apartment renovation, to be further defined by regulation.

See more bills and details in the February New York Housing Journal.

Breaking down the tentative 2018/19 City assessments we reported Wednesday, billable assessments on rental units citywide went up 14% (Class 2 overall up 11.51%) and, unusually, the percentage increase in assessments on Brooklyn and Queens apartments reportedly increased more from physical changes than market forces.

Governor Cuomo proposed a roughly $5 million increase in spending, to about $48 million, for the Office of Rent Administration, plus $4.5 million to separately fund the Tenant Protection Unit, in his executive budget proposal, Tuesday. Head count was projected to remain the same, so it is not clear what the money is for.

The City Planning Commission, Wednesday, approved rezoning a 92 block area around Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, creating about 155 development sites. The plan now goes to the City Council.

Meanwhile, one of the new laws rushed through the Council last month allowed Council members and Borough Presidents to jump the queue on zoning requests. Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan BP Gale Brewer are wasting no time using the provision to try to stop new housing development on the Lower East Side.

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