Council Doubles Down

More than a dozen bills increasing the penalties for false statements onbuilding permit applications, increasing public availability of information about overcharges, requiring that tenants get copies of notices of violations, increasing DOB inspections, and other provisions affecting apartment operators were introduced in the New York City Council Wednesday. Speaker Corey Johnson indicated his support for the package (Int 1280-2018Int 1279-2018Int 1278-2018Int 1277-2018Int 1275-2018Int 1274-2018Int 1258-2018Int 1257-2018Int 1256-2018Int 1255-2018Int 1247-2018Int 1242-2018Int 1241-2018).
The January 1st deadline for submitting bedbug infestation histories to the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development has been extended to January 31st because HPD doesn’t expect the online reporting tool to be available until at least December 17th.
Mayor de Blasio announced that Requests for Proposals for private management of 21 public housing projects will be issue in December. A total of 62,000 units could be involved, including several developments already in the works.
Meanwhile, the City Independent Budget Office has concluded, not surprisingly, that rehabbing public housing is cheaper than building new.  The IBO estimated rehab at $260,000 per unit and replacement with new construction at $410,000 per unit—not including land or demolition costs.
The New York City Planning Commission has begun the formal seven-month review process for zoning changes around Bay Street, Staten Island, to allow 1,800 more residential units to be built.
While the City Council mulls commercial rent control proposals, the Real Estate Board of New York reports that retail rents in 15 of 17 corridors in Manhattan have fallen an average 25% in three years. Perhaps the market is self-correcting after all.
Amazon’s plans for Long Island City appear to be just a drop in the bucket. has identified more than 40 residential projects already planned or in development in the neighborhood.
Westchester County has passed legislation requiring Co-op boards to report any buyer rejections to the county Human Rights Commission for investigation. New York City and New York State are both considering similar legislation.
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