LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: August Legislative Update

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: August Legislative Update
Philip Weiden

Eviction Moratorium Saga Continues, Cold Calling Ban, Co-Op Transparency Law in Effect

The tenant eviction moratorium has gone back and forth. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional, but also ruled that it could remain in place until it expired in July. Most recently, based on pressures from tenant advocacy groups, the administration extended it again for areas with high COVID transmissibility.

More than $40 billion has already been appropriated in COVID relief bills for tenants and landlords. It has been left to the individual states to administer and disburse the funds and states, most notably New York State, have been slow to get the funds distributed. The National Association of Realtors has joined in a lawsuit to have the current moratorium thrown out based on the court’s original determination.

An infrastructure deal with bipartisan support has been agreed to. It will go through the Senate first and then the House of Representatives. It would add $256 billion to the deficit over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bill invests in roads, bridges, highways, trains, broadband, and other hard infrastructure items. This would be the first true infrastructure bill in well over a decade.

At the state level, NYSAR has sent out a call for action that urges Governor Cuomo to sign a repeal of the “cold calling ban.” The ban was reinstated as a result of Governor Cuomo extending the gun violence emergency and has been in effect since the start of COVID. The ban can hamper a business model. Cold calling is a safe activity and obviously is unrelated to gun violence. The ban unfairly targets Realtors and impedes their ability to conduct their normal course of business.

The co-op law in Westchester County went into effect on August 1st. Anyone can go to the Human Rights Commission website to view the form that the co-op board must fill out if they reject a prospective purchaser. The form lists many financial reasons for a board to reject someone. The hope is that the board will provide more specific information with this new form. The Human Rights Commission did a good job in getting a form out in a timely manner. The key now, is to continue to get the word out to our members, and other co-op board participants regarding compliance with this new law. Stay tuned for updates on these legislative and regulation issues.

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