City Council Passes Bill to Help One- to Three-Family Property Owners Build Environmentally Friendly Projects

Image credit: New York City Council.

On August 3, 2023, the City Council voted to pass Int. 689-A, which reduces financial barriers in building environmentally-friendly homes. The bill was co-sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council Member Sandy Nurse. 

The bill eliminates Department of Buildings permit, inspection or other service fees connected to certain green building projects for one to three family homes. The project must produce a decrease in carbon emissions no less than 50 percent of the building’s prior year emissions and can include projects like the installation of solar panels, wind energy systems or geothermal ground source heat pumps. 

Local Law 97, passed in 2019, requires buildings over 25,000 square feet to follow new energy efficiency standards by 2024. The law included certain incentives to help building owners achieve those standards. Int. 689-A expands the definition of a “green building project” as seen in Local Law 97 to now include one- to three-family homes to help and encourage owners of smaller properties to implement green technology or infrastructure into their properties.

Public Advocate Williams stated, “The climate crisis is here and it’s affecting communities across New York City in profound ways – especially in low-income communities and communities of more color . . . we must invest in clean energy and actions towards environmental justice. Not only will this allow us to reach our environmental protection goals but it will also provide much needed relief to homeowners while allowing us to reach economic growth with new jobs.” 

Council Member Nurse stated, “At a time when New Yorkers are experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis, we need to remove as many barriers as possible for the construction of sustainable green buildings that reduce energy and emissions. As a long time champion for climate and environmental justice, I’m proud to be a co-sponsor on this bill with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams that incentivizes and streamlines the process for building a livable city.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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