The New York City Council Housing Committee held hearings, Thursday, on 37 bills aimed at increasing penalties for violations by building owners, discouraging tenant buy-outs, and making it harder to get building permits. CHIP and ABO, along with industry partners, opposed most of the proposals.
State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents parts of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, will be the new chairman of the Senate Housing Committee under Democratic leadership in January.
The Furman Center released a policy brief this week on increasing legal assistance for tenants in Housing Court. The brief focused mostly on the need for better planning and training in other municipalities that are considering giving tenants lawyers, but did note that, thanks to New York City’s free legal programs, the number of pretrial motions increased 19.1 percent from 2014 to 2016 – prolonging cases and raising owners’ legal costs.
Mayor de Blasio is out with a new ten year plan for reforming public housing this week. He expects to raise $3 billion from private developers building on New York City Housing Authority sites and buying air rights, along with the sale of private management rights announced last week.
Apartment owners aren’t the only ones targeted by 311 complaints. The New York Times reports that someone has “weaponized” 311 calls with sign complaints against small commercial businesses. Over 200 calls about unauthorized signs in Brooklyn were reportedly made last month, up from 23 during the same month last year.
Waterfront development is taking on a whole new meaning on the East End of Long Island. The East Hampton Town Board is studying the legal and land use issues of moving downtown Montauk inland, away from rising seas.