Three-Quarter Housing: Council Seeks to Address Blight [UPDATE: City Council Approves Legislation]

UPDATE: On February 1, 2017, the City Council voted 47-0 to approve four bills that would help protect tenants of three-quarter houses in New York City. During the vote, Council Member Donovan Richards called three-quarter houses a wide spread problem that would not be cured by the bills and that the City would need to track progress on the issue to determine future responses. Council Member Ritchie Torres called predatory operators of three-quarter houses the … <Read More>

Council Hears Testimony from BSA on New Oversight Legislation

Executive Director of the Board of Standards and Appeals voices support for some proposed reforms, but states concern about financial and personnel burden to the agency. On December 14, 2016, the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations heard testimony on ten proposed bills designed to provide more oversight of the Board of Standards and Appeals. The BSA, which was originally created to be an independent board tasked with granting “relief” from the zoning code, is … <Read More>

City Council Unanimously Approves Legislation to Prevent Gas Explosions [UPDATE: Mayor Signs Legislation]

gas explosionsUPDATE: On December 6, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the package of bills to increase gas safety in New York City. “Gas safety is important for all New Yorkers, and this legislative package will resolve numerous regulatory oversights,” said the Mayor. “These reforms will ensure both property owners and utility companies are accountable for keeping buildings safe.”

“In a relatively short time we’ve seen a number of gas explosions take place in the City; … <Read More>

Legislation Proposed For Online List of All Affordable Apartments

Bill would require all landlords of affordable apartments to publicly list their properties through the portal.  At the City Council stated meeting on Monday, December 7, 2015 Council Member Ben Kallos introduced Intro 1015, a proposed law that would require property owners that receive tax credits in exchange for building affordable housing units to publicly list those units in an online portal.  The bill is co-sponsored by Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rosie <Read More>

City Council Holds Rally, Public Hearing on Illegal Hotel Legislation

The proposed laws seek to enforce existing State regulations by increasing illegal hotel fines and reporting requirements.  On October 30, 2015, the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings heard testimony on three proposed laws that seek to ramp up enforcement of state laws that prohibit the operation of illegal hotels.  The proposed legislation would regulate only those residential units located in multiple-dwelling buildings—not one- to four-family homes.  The proposed legislation is intended to address … <Read More>

Legislation Introduced on Sidewalk Accessibility

Bill would increase penalties on property owners for failing to maintain pedestrian curb ramps.  On June 26, 2015, New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would increase responsibility on the property owner for maintaining pedestrian curb ramps connecting City sidewalks to crosswalks.  A study by the Center for the Independence of the Disabled New York found that out of 1,000 curbs located in lower Manhattan, 75 percent were hazardous for disabled residents.