Real Estate Winners and Losers of the 2021 New York Legislative Session

Labor Leader Gary LaBarbera, Senator Julia Salazar and Senator Michael Gianaris (Getty)

The legislative session is over, for now.

Several measures related to real estate were passed, including a bill that encourages the conversion of hotels and office buildings into affordable housing, while others, such as the repeal of the 421st, never got off the ground.

Legislators could always choose to return, as they did in a July session last year. The Senate and Assembly left unresolved some issues that seemed poised for approval, including a measure to reorganize the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

But otherwise, they won’t meet until January. The more than five months of legislation that have just concluded left winners and victims in the world of property interests.



The real estate industry avoided something that it has been fighting since 2019: eviction for good cause. According to a bill that was reintroduced in this session, tenants would be protected from eviction for non-payment as a result of an “unreasonable” increase in rent, that is, one that exceeds 3 percent or 1.5 times the rate. of consumer prices in the region, whichever is higher. Landlords believe the measure controls rents statewide, and its supporters don’t disagree. But pandemic response Y other issues made it an afterthought.

House fins

In March, Brooklyn Sen. Julia Salazar introduced a bill to punish “aggressive speculative investment” with a confiscatory tax – 50 to 65 percent – when a one- to three-unit residential property is purchased and then sold within two years. The tax would apply to the entire price difference, with no deduction for repairs and improvements. Zohran Kwame Mamdani, Member of the Queens Assembly, who wants de-commoditize housing, sponsored a version of the bill in his chamber. But it generated more action on Twitter than it did in Albany.

Families experiencing or at risk of homelessness

New York City’s shelter population is down 20 percent from its peak, but the perception that homelessness is worsening has prompted lawmakers to act. The state legislature approved an increase in the value of rental vouchers for homeless New Yorkers. The bill would increase the maximum rent paid by the state Family Housing and Eviction Prevention Supplement, or FHEPS, from 85 percent to 100 percent of the federal fair market rent.

Previously, the City Council increased the value of its own vouchers, Despite arguments from Mayor Bill de Blasio that landlords would favor city voucher holders if the state did not do the same.

Multi-family developers

Affordable New York, the tax break formerly known as 421a, expires in 2022. But Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal tried to eliminate it before negotiations to renew it began. He could also have proposed taking the children away from the developers.

The decrease, which is provided to developers who set aside a certain percentage of apartments as affordable, was last renovated in 2017, at which point new construction wage requirements were added for certain projects and the tax exemption was extended up to 35 years.

Nonprofit organizations

Since the end of last year, there has been talk of converting the city’s dilapidated commercial buildings into homes. The New York Real Estate Board first put forward the idea and Governor Andrew Cuomo followed suit. But left-wing lawmakers feared that for-profit companies would benefit from those plans.

Instead, the legislature approved Wednesday the Housing with Dignity to Our Neighborsor HONDA. It authorizes the state to finance the purchase and conversion of hotels and offices into permanently affordable housing, but only if they are controlled by nonprofit organizations. It is unclear if the governor will sign the bill or if the conversions would be financially viable.

Under the measure, at least 50 percent of converted units must be reserved for residents who experienced homelessness immediately before moving in. The properties would be dedicated to residents averaging 50 percent and no more than 80 percent of the area median income.

Construction unions

This month both cameras approved an invoice which forces construction managers to take responsibility for unpaid wages, benefits, and attorneys’ fees on their projects. The measure aims to ensure that construction managers are held accountable for the actions of their subcontractors, though it provides exceptions if subcontractors refuse to provide certain payroll information. The measure was rejected by non-union construction groups.



City tenants typically have to pay broker fees of around 15 percent of the annual rent. In April, an Albany judge ruled that state regulators were wrong to conclude that the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act prohibited broker fees imposed on tenants. Salazar presented a bill to revoke that decision, and the Assembly printed a version of the bill last week, but he never got out of committee.

Penn Station checks opponents

Cuomo is seeking an expansion of Penn Station through an overall project plan, to avoid the city’s rezoning process. It includes eight new roads just south of Penn, which would require the demolition of more than 50 properties. Funding would be provided by the development of 10 new commercial towers.

Manhattan Senator Brad Hoylman proposed a bill that would force the plan to go through the city’s seven-month process, but it was exhausted.

Boards of condominiums and cooperatives

Last year, the governor vetoed a measure that would have required certain cooperative and condominium boards to pay their construction service workers current wages. This year, a revised version of this bill passed both houses once again, and union leaders are confident that this time Cuomo will sign it.

The legislation applies to condominiums and cooperatives with an appraised value of $ 60,000 per unit or less, or properties with less than 30 units and an average appraised value of more than $ 60,000 and up to $ 100,000.

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