Lead Time

The New York City Council holds hearings Tuesday on a package of lead bills, opposed by CHIP and ABO, that would require property owners to abate all apartments on turnover (as opposed to current interim controls), test and abate soil outside buildings annually, and lower the allowable lead in paint tests so that previously cleared properties might be subject to new abatement requirements. This despite new reports this week that the number of children with elevated blood lead levels continued to decline in fiscal 2018, down 11 percent.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development finalized rules for a speculation watch list, to be posted online beginning October 27th, that will highlight buildings acquired at any cap rate below the borough median for the prior twelve months. The theory, apparently without any particular evidence, is that this will be an indicator of likely tenant harassment.

NIMBYs (and tenant activists) may complain about traffic, displacement, gentrification, and architectural integrity, but what really irks them is developers making money, according to a new research report from UCLA. Opposition to new development proposals increased by 20 percent when test subjects were given the argument that a developer was likely to earn a large profit from a building.

The latest tariffs on Chinese goods will add $1 billion to the cost of housing production, and additional levies set for January will bring the tally to $2.5 billion, according to the National Association  of Homebuilders. Products affected include granite, portland cement, framing lumber, cast iron pipe, nails, kitchen cabinets and electrical fixtures, among others.

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