Drip, Drip

The New York City Water Board is considering a 2.36% increase in water rates effective July 1st. Hearings are scheduled later this month, with a final vote May 31st.

Repealing the Urstadt Law, ending vacancy allowances and luxury decontrol, and regulating currently deregulated units are all on the New York City Council’s wishlist. The Council Housing Committee, Wednesday, approved eight home rule resolutions asking Albany to tighten regulations and the full Council is expected to pass the resolutions next week.

The State Division of Housing and Community Renewal this week posted Operational Bulletin 2018-1:”The Effect of Defective Work on the Disposition of an Owner’s Application for a Major Capital Improvements (MCI) Rent Increase,” outlining how the Division would treat MCIs where there was evidence of defects such as leaks in a unit after buildingwide waterproofing. In general, the policy will be to treat defects in less than 20% of the apartments with individual unit exemptions from the MCI, but the Bulletin goes on to say that DHCR is “not strictly bound by this percentage.”

The City Department of Buildings is looking for owners, architects, engineers and other qualified professionals to volunteer for NYC Energy Conservation Code Advisory Committees. The Code is reviewed every three years, but this year the City Council has mandated stricter standards that will have to be incorporated. Apply by May 29th.

Airbnb is responsible for 9.2% of the 25% increase in citywide rents between 2009 and 2016, according to a statistically interesting report released Thursday by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Ossining, in Westchester County, is planning a vacancy study to determine if it can justify adopting rent stabilization. Coincidentally, a market analyst in Westchester this week noted that new construction coming online would cause countywide vacancy rates to increase from about 3% to 5-8% next year.

Rent control leads to a reduction in available rental housing, higher rents for unregulated units, causes renters to occupy apartments that are too large or small for their circumstances, results in longer commutes, and poorly targets needy renters, according to an exhaustive review of 60 years of empirical studies published this week.

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