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Legislative Update – July/August

Posted by GCAR on July 31, 2020
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Governor Cuomo announces new COVID rental assistance program
Governor Cuomo announced the launching of an emergency COIVD rental assistance program to provide eligible low-income households with a one-time rental subsidy paid directly to landlords and housing providers. The program, which is capped at $100 million, is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. For eligibility criteria and application, click here.

New York’s Tax Cap Below 2 Percent
Property tax increases will be limited to a 1.56 percent increase for local governments in New York amid the pandemic, said State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Local governments are facing limited revenue options, which could lead to service cuts, reductions in overall spending, or tax hikes in order to close budget gaps. Read more here.

Governor Cuomo signs rent relief voucher bill into law
Early in June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020, which creates a $100 million interim residential rental assistance voucher program to provide voucher payments to landlords on behalf of tenants facing a rent burden due to the loss of income from COVID-19. The program applies to the period from April 1 through July 31, 2020. NYSAR will be requesting additional details on the program from the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and lawmakers. You can read more here.

Voters go the polls in Primary Elections across New York
Voters went to the polls across New York State on Tuesday, June 23rd to vote in federal and state primaries. There were several Democratic congressional primaries in the downstate area including the 16th and 17th Congressional Districts. In the 16th district, 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel was defeated by former middle school principal Jamal Bowman.

In the 17th Congressional district, Mondaire Jones was the clear winner to assume the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Nita Lowey. Jones defeated two sitting NY state legislators, Assemblyman David Buchwald and Sen. David Carlucci.

Locally State Assemblyman John McDonald, who represents parts of Albany and Rensselaer counties defeated his opponent.

Albany County District Attorney also faced a challenge from Matt Toporowski in the democratic primary. David Soares led Toporowski by 1,100 votes as of Wednesday, June 24th.  Upon the completion of counting absentee ballots, it was determined that the incumbent, David Soares, was the winner of the Democratic primary.

Please visit nysar.com for a full recap of all the primary races.

Brokers Allowed to Continue to Collect Commissions as a Landlord’s Agent until at least September 11
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James requested and was granted, an extension of the temporary restraining order that NYSAR and others filed in response to the guidance from the Department of State asserting that a landlord’s agent was prohibited from collecting a broker fee/commission. With the extension granted, landlord’s agents are permitted to continue collecting commissions from a tenant until at least September 11, 2020. For updates, please check the NYSAR website.