There are several important housing bills being considered for passage at the state level before the end of session. Prospects for many of these bills are unclear. There is still time to weigh in with legislators before the session ends on June 10th.
Hotel ConversionsHousing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act (HONDA) S5257/A6593 (Gianaris/Reyes) HONDA, which would allow the conversion of certain distressed hotels to permanent affordable housing, passed out of the NY Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee. Housing Chair Senator Kavanagh negotiated several amendments to build consensus among a wide range of stakeholders. The amended version provides limited zoning relief for conversions, but also ensures the geographic suitability of hotel sites for conversion and empowers the NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in an approval process, ensuring local control of zoning decisions.
Affordable Housing Insurances: S5231/A5574 (Kavanagh/Cymbrowitz) passed both houses of the legislature. This legislation would require the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in coordination with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) to study and report on the recent significant increases in insurance premiums for housing units and to make recommendations to the Executive Chamber and the Legislature to address the causes for such increases.
5-Year Housing Capital Plan: S2193/A3807 (Kavanagh/Cymbrowitz) passed the Assembly and is on the Senate floor calendar. This bill would establish a requirement for the state to create and fund a 5-year capital plan for the development, preservation and capital improvement of affordable housing.
Fair Housing: S1353A/A5428A (Kavanagh/Cymbrowitz) previously passed the Senate but has been amended and is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate again. It would require all state agencies administering housing programs or enforcing housing laws and all localities administering housing programs and receiving funds from the state for such activities to affirmatively further fair housing. This bill is part of a package of fair housing bills being considered as a result of the hearings held on the discriminatory housing practices in Long Island. You can read more about the fair housing package here.
Public Housing Trust: S6999A/A7805 – Kavanagh/Cymbrowitz New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Preservation Trust legislation has been introduced in the legislature. The Trust would create a new publicly controlled entity to allow NYCHA to apply for federal Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV), which are funded at a much higher level than traditional public housing subsidies to renovate and manage up to 25,000 apartments. The proposal would authorize a more effective procurement process, include requirements for electrification, renewable energy, and decarbonization and maintain public housing tenant rights. Four residents would sit on the Trust’s nine-member board.
Various Housing Issues: S6853 (Kavanagh) is in committee but could advance before session ends. This is a bill that would amend several housing and homelessness prevention programs to maximize their effectiveness, including the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program. It brings the program in line with some of the new Treasury guidance and increases protections for tenants against eviction and homeowners and small landlords against mortgage and tax foreclosure. It also permits the state Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) Program to cover rent up to the fair market rent.