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Legislative Update September/October

Posted by GCAR on September 13, 2021
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By Conor Gillis, NYSAR Field Representative

Sheehan Signs Fair Housing Legislation Package
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed three pieces of legislation on Friday, including the state’s first “good-cause” eviction law. Sheehan proposed the legislation earlier this year and all three pieces passed the Common Council over the past few months.

The most consequential of the new laws is one that lays out 10 possible conditions that landlords can meet before evicting their tenants. The legislation drew heavy criticism from local landlords and real estate groups, including GCAR and NYSAR, who worried the law would impact the value of their properties.

A second law will allow the city to step in sooner to make necessary repairs to privately-owned buildings and pass that cost along to the property owner. The goal is to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned buildings that the city is eventually forced to tear down.

The final law overhauls the city’s Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance and allows the department to revoke an owner’s residential occupancy permit for repeated code violations.

Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS® File Eviction Moratorium Lawsuit
The Alabama and Georgia associations of REALTORS® filed an emergency motion with Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking her to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order that the CDC could not extend the moratorium without new legislation.

The state associations, with NAR’s help, brought a lawsuit in the fall of 2020 challenging the CDC’s authority to impose a blanket ban on evictions. Friedrich ruled with housing providers but put her ruling on hold pending an ongoing appeal, which kept the moratorium in place.

Housing providers then asked the D.C Circuit Court to lift the stay, and after being denied that request, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and end the ban immediately. On June 29, a majority of the Supreme Court indicated the CDC lacked authority to implement a national eviction moratorium. The high court allowed the ban to expire at the end of July but stated that any further extension would need Congressional authorization. Visit https://www.nysar.com/ for updates on this lawsuit.

Albany County Legislator Sam Fein Will Try For State Assembly Again
Albany County Legislator Sam Fein has launched a second bid for the New York State Assembly seat held by Democrat John McDonald. McDonald says he welcomes the rematch, saying he’ll run on his record, citing supporting education, affordable housing, blight removal, and addressing climate change.

In 2022, the former Cohoes mayor would be going for a sixth term in the 108th district, which currently includes parts of Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties, and whose fate is in the hands of an independent redistricting commission. McDonald beat Fein in the 2020 race with 58 percent of the vote to 41 percent.

Save The Date: NYSAR Lobby Day Will Be May 10, 2022
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day in Albany is scheduled for May 10, 2022. The event is currently planned to be in-person, pending any future health guidelines or restrictions. Additional details, including itinerary, will be released at a future date. Attendance to NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day is open to all REALTOR® members. We will continue to provide you with updates on this event as they arise.

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