Government Affairs

 

Four-Pronged Housing Plan Released
 Senator Sean Ryan with
Brendan Cunningham, Vice Chair of BNAR's
Government Affairs Committee
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Before a packed community crowd at the Crane Library Thursday afternoon, State Senator Sean Ryan (D-61) unveiled a four-part plan to address the region’s shortage of affordable, high-quality homes and rental properties. Ryan’s “holistic” plan focuses on four areas:  new homes, rental repairs, energy efficiency, and homelessness. He noted the differences from housing challenges in Western New York compared to New York City, stressing that his plan can help upstate cities with similar housing problems.

BNAR Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii and Committee Vice-Chair Brendan Cunningham attended the meeting. Senator Ryan will be a guest at an upcoming Committee meeting at the BNAR.

 


Martin Luther King Day

In his honor, MLK Day of Service is a defining moment in volunteerism, as Americans across the country step up to make communities more equitable and take action to build the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed this community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action.This is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

“The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.” - Coretta Scott King

 

(right) 2023 President and current Government Affairs Committee Chair Rosalind Burgin and Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii attended a reception for State Senator Jeremy Cooney, hosted by the WNY Property Rights Coalition. Sen. Cooney (District 56) represents the Rochester area and is the only Rochester legislator who has consistently opposed the so-called Good Cause Eviction bill. The BNAR looks forward to more collaborations with Cooney as we continue to advocate for property rights.

 

 

 

The Erie County Democratic Committee annual holiday reception drew a packed crowd at Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant last night in Blasdell. Governor Kathy Hochul joined Congressman Brian Higgins, State Senator Tim Kennedy, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner in honoring Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and his historic election to a fourth term in office. Arthor O. Eve, Jr. was honored as the 2023 Democrat of the Year. BNAR 2023 President Rosalind Burgin, BNAR Government Affairs Committee Member Suzanne Orlando, and BNAR Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii attended the event. They had an opportunity to chat with a number of elected officials about furthering housing opportunities in the market. As always, the BNAR supports candidates and officials, in a bipartisan fashion, who are behind the issues affecting our industry.   

 

For the first time in 10 years, women will be represented on the Buffalo Common Council. Last month, Leah Halton-Pope and Zeneta Everhart won seats in the Ellicott and Masten Districts respectively and will assume office in January.

This morning the Buffalo Niagara Partnership hosted a Capital Conversation to meet city’s newest elected leaders. They spoke about their unique backgrounds, objectives and projects for their districts, and their vision for the City. Affordable housing and the impact on the proposed cap-and-tunnel Kensington Expressway project were focal points of the conversation. Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii attended the meeting and invited both women to speak at upcoming BNAR committee meeting, which they accepted. The BNAR looks forward to fruitful discussions about city housing and generational wealth.

 

Here is the link to register for the Update on NY's Path to Decarbonization

 

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Temporary Moratorium on Short Term Rental Permits

City of Buffalo lawmakers enact temporary moratorium on
short-term rental permits in select districts in Buffalo. 
The temporary moratorium is in effect for the city's Fillmore, North, and South Districts. 
 Here is the link for more information

 

RPAC Goal

I’m happy to report that the BNAR’s 2023 RPAC goal of $78,410 has been reached!  
A contribution today put us over the top just three days before our deadline.

My thanks to each of you, particularly the RPAC Committee, for your contributions, passion, and help in reaching this milestone.
I also appreciate your roles as ambassadors for RPAC, helping members understand the purpose and value of Realtor advocacy.

With the political winds swirling in WNY, I expect 2024 to be a year of significant change in the always interesting world of government.
The BNAR will continue to be at the table and not on the menu.

 

Election Day is November 7th
Niagara County Board of Elections, including polling places – https://eletions.niagara.ny.us
Erie County Board of Elections, including polling places – https://elections.erie.gov
Let’s Get Out the Vote!

 

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Monica Wallace

Monica Wallace, who has represented the 143rd Assembly District in the New York State Assembly since 2017, held a fundraiser last night in downtown Buffalo. BNAR Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii attended the event and spoke to Wallace about stopping Good Cause Eviction and affordable housing initiatives, which Wallace has consistently supported. Wallace's district comprises the entirety of the towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster. The BNAR supports Realtor-friendly candidates and elected officials in a bi-partisan manner at every level of government. 

 

 

 

Erie County Executive Republican Candidate Chrissy Casilio Visited the BNAR

On October 17th, the BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee welcomed Chrissy Casilio, who is the Republican candidate for Erie County Executive. The Clarence resident discussed the migrant crisis, job creation, the effects of Covid among a myriad of topics. BNAR members also had the opportunity to ask the candidate questions. Last month, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, running for an unprecedented fourth term, spoke before the Committee.  Election Day takes place on November 7th; early voting runs from October 28 – November 5, 2023.

 

 

 

Congressman Sean Ryan Fundraiser
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State Senator Sean Ryan (District 61) hosted a fundraiser in Buffalo. Govt Affairs Director Brenda Alesii thanked Ryan for his opposition to the Good Cause Eviction bill, which was defeated in the last session. The veteran lawmaker is expected to run for reelection in 2024. 

 

Erie County Executive Candidate Forum
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The Buffalo Niagara Partnership hosted the Erie County Executive Forum earlier today at their Buffalo offices. Moderated by Buffalo News reporter David Robinson, current County Executive Mark Poloncarz (D) spoke with Robinson for 45 minutes about his candidacy for an unprecedented fourth term and a variety of issues: migrants, county infrastructure, tax rates, the Buffalo Bills stadium and more. Later, challenger Chrissy Casilio (R), a local business owner was interviewed by Robinson for the same length of time and was asked the same questions.

Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii was in attendance along with a host of local business leaders from around WNY. Poloncarz addressed the BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee last week; Casilio has been invited to speak to the same Committee during the October meeting.

The general election will be held on November 7th

 

Erie County Executive Meets with BNAR Government Affairs Committee

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz Spoke Before the BNAR Government Affairs Committee
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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke to the BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee about a host of county-wide issues: housing, migrants, Bills stadium costs, taxes, to name a few. We appreciate the face-to-face opportunity to ask questions and discuss pertinent issues of the day with our elected officials

 

Lisa Avery, Michael Kracker
and Brenda Alesii
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Annual GOP Picnic

(l) On August 19, Erie County GOP Chairman Michael Kracker hosted the annual GOP Picnic at the Buffalo Airport Hotel. Dozens of supporters, elected officials and candidates were on hand as well as BNAR Gov't Affairs Committee member Lisa Avery and Gov't Affairs Dir. Brenda Alesii. Year in and year out the BNAR supports bi-partisan elected leaders who promote Realtor-friendly issues and our industry.

                                                                


Congressman Nick Langworthy Visit at the BNAR

Congressman Nick Langworthy with staff and members of the BNAR
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(r) Thanks to Congressman Nick Langworthy and his staff for his impromptu visit to the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors’ offices on July 28th. In this informal setting, a few Realtor members discussed key issues with Rep. Langworthy, including low inventory, national debt, job training, to name a few. In a bipartisan manner, the BNAR supports elected officials who are friendly to the real estate industry

 

NYS Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera Fundraiser

(l) BNAR member and State Political Coordinator James Wangelin (L) attended a fundraiser for New York Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera. Representing the 149th Assembly District, Rivera’s district covers parts of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Hamburg, Blasdell, and Lake View. Wangelin and Rivera discussed several real estate-related issues, including the BNAR’s opposition to Good Cause Eviction and the need for more affordable housing.

 

 

 

Congressman Brian Higgins President's Circle

(left) Rep. Brian Higgins is one of 26 REALTOR Champion targets that was chosen by the RPAC 

Federal Disbursement trustees to be included in the 2023 Presidents Circle program. Last night's in-district President’s Circle event on the Buffalo Waterfront,  brought PC, Major Investors, and BNAR members in Rep. Higgins’ district to discuss important topics related to our industry and the health of our economy. FPC Margaret Hartman introduced Congressman Higgins, emphasizing his support of realtor issues over the years.

The President’s Circle Program supports REALTOR® Champions—members of Congress who have made significant achievements in advancing the REALTOR® public policy agenda. The President’s Circle Program allows REALTORS® to contribute beyond RPAC dollars and increase the strength of the REALTOR® voice on Capitol Hill.

 

State Senator Tim Kennedy Fundraiser

State Senator Tim Kennedy hosted his annual summer fundraiser on July 13th on the historic USS Little Rock at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. Kennedy, who represents the 63rd District, is a strong advocate for property rights, economic development, and opposes Good Cause Eviction. The BNAR continues to lobby elected leaders in a bi-partisan fashion, ensuring the rights of homeowners and the real estate industry.


Guest Speaker Senator & Minority Leader Robert Ortt

BNAR President Rosalind,
Senator Ortt and miriam treger
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(right) State Senator & Minority Leader Rob Ortt (District 62) was the featured speaker at the BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee meeting this morning. Ortt spoke about a myriad of issues, including his opposition to Good Cause Eviction; low inventory; the all-electric bill; the contrasts between NYC and the WNY; homeowner rights; and quality of life issues. Senator Ortt represents Niagara County, all of Orleans County, and the towns of Sweden and Ogden in Monroe County. He noted that he is always available to speak with members of our Association

 

 

 

 

More on Good Cause Eviction

BNAR President Rosalind Burgin and George Fontas
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George Fontas led a statewide coalition that successfully fought back against Good Cause Eviction in this legislative session. The BNAR has consistently lobbied against the bill. Fontas was in downtown Buffalo this morning to discuss the behind-the-scenes strategy and tools used in this effort and what we can expect next year. BNAR President Rosalind Burgin, member Ayat Nieves, and Gov’t Affairs Dir. Brenda Alesii attended the session to express support for having strong voices from WNY in the halls of government.

Feedback Wanted

To inform the development of the preproposal For New York State’s Cap and Invest Program, DEC and NYSERDA request first round feedback on or around July 1, 2023. We encourage you to submit input from your individual and industry perspective; to the extent you need more information to develop a response, please find a guiding document prepared by National Fuel.

Plan to provide "good cause" eviction and housing growth falls apart:

Last night, state legislative leaders issued a joint statement that Good Cause Eviction was not going to be included in the budget despite a hard push by tenant rights groups. Thanks to all who contacted Senator Tim Kennedy and other lawmakers about the harm GCE would cause property owners, many of whom are Realtors.  We live to fight another day!

 

Special Guest at Government Affairs Meeting
Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger was the guest speaker at the BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee meeting. Serving in his second term, Emminger addressed numerous topics: redevelopment vs. new projects, regionalism, tax rates, even the $400k cost of a signal light. GA Director Brenda Alesii thanked the supervisor and the members who joined in person and via Zoom.

 

Career in Real Estate 

On May 17, BNAR President Rosalind Burgin and DEI V-P Brenda Alesii spoke at Giulio Colangelo's class at Niagara Falls High School. Topics included careers in real estate and initiatives like the anti-discrimination videos produced by the BNAR. The class was made up of juniors and seniors who expressed interest in the industry. Over the course of the one-hour presentation, the students were engaged and asked many pertinent questions about the education/training required, earning potential, and even what a typical day looks like. As Rosalind often says, "It's a learning day or an earning day.

 

Details on Lobby Day and the New York State Budget

Here are the Talking Points from this years Lobby Day agenda

Lobby Day 2023 saw two dozen BNAR members travel to Albany on May 1st and 2nd for our annual meetings with state representatives. According to NYSAR, this was the biggest contingent of Realtors from across the state attending this important annual session, which includes other organizations such as law enforcement, fire fighters, domestic violence awareness, and, of course, our colleagues from all corners of New York State.

We were pleased to meet with several State Senators and Assembly members or their staffs. Because the state budget was more than a month overdue, several representatives were called away and had to be “on the floor” for debates and votes. Ultimately, the budget passed late on May 2nd.

The key issues we focused on at each of our 16 meetings were as follows (more details attached):

We garnered tremendous support from each legislator on our four real estate-related issues. One specific example: The Good Cause Eviction bill is not in the new state budget! That is a win. We will continue to monitor all of these issues.

Regarding the State budget, it was finally approved late on May 2nd, a month after the deadline.

Key takeaways:

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Our 2023 Lobby Day is in the books!   My thanks to the Realtors who traveled to Albany to discuss industry issues with our state representatives. Democracy at work.

One-on-One

BNAR Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii & Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO/President Dottie Gallagher - In the latest video with WNY movers and shakers, the BNAR’s Brenda Alesii talks with Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO/President Dottie Gallagher about a number of timely topics: the region’s business and real estate climate, the Buffalo Bills improved reputation, & WNY’s reputation around the country, including some cheap shots that Gallagher still hears to this day. The video is posted on the BNAR Facebook page and on the BNAR website
 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz Held His State of the County Address


Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz held his State of the County address yesterday, focusing on affordable housing, totaling $123 million investment, inclusivity and the low county property tax rate.

 

 

 

 







Congressman Nick Langworthy Meeting

averylangworthy.jpgLisa Avery (r), BNAR member and Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman Nick Langworthy, Darcie McLachlan (l), Executive Officer Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors, and Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii met with Congressman Langworthy (NY-23) about a myriad of issues, including the lack of inventory, all-electric bill, and property tax relief. A freshman lawmaker, Langworthy represents a vast district, stretching from WNY to Watkins Glen. He also chairs the New York State Republican Committee. BNAR members will meet again with Langworthy at the Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. next month.

 

Good Cause Eviction

goodcause1.jpgOur Government Affairs Committee meeting met at the BNAR office, with a focus on Good Cause Eviction, which the BNAR vehemently opposes. Thanks to attorneys Jaime Cain and Colleen Killian as well as Lisa Damiani for their insight on this complex issue. We look forward to more thoughtful discussions on the challenges faced by hundreds of property owners, particularly the mom-and-pop owners that are so prevalent.

Congressman Higgins Fundraiser

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Several BNAR members attended Congressman Brian Higgins fundraiser Tuesday evening at the Buffalo Chophouse. Higgins, who represents the 26th District, serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, where he also serves as a Member of the Subcommittees on Health, Trade, and Social Security. In addition, Brian currently serves as a member of the House Committee on the Budget

University Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt Hosted a Community Meeting Thursday evening on Edison Street

to discuss the high eviction rate in his district. BNAR President Rosalind Burgin, Government Affairs Director Brenda Alesii, and Realtor Ayat Nieves attended the meeting. A panel of housing officials hear from residents about soaring rents, lack of affordable housing, and property owners who are harmed by tenants who are still taking advantage of the pandemic-related moratorium. Wyatt and members of the panel are seeking solutions and will work with Social services on their task force.

 

BNAR Government Affairs Meeting- February 2023



The BNAR’s Government Affairs Committee met today to discuss a myriad of topics , including the controversial All Electric bill.  Realtor members welcomed Luke Marchiori, executive vice-president from Energy Mark LLC, who presented info on the Climate Protection Act, energy usage in NYS, and answered numerous questions from members. The Committee was also updated on Governor Kathy Hochul’s record-setting $227 billion budget proposal, the upcoming annual Lobby Day in Albany, 
and the importance and need for RPAC support. Thanks to Luke Marchiori and all who attended.   

State of the State Address

Here is a synopsis of Governor Hochul’s housing remarks yesterday on a key piece of her State of the State address:

The Governor called the state’s housing situation a “crisis” and vowed to implement a “New York Housing Compact,” with a goal of creating 800,000 new homes over the next decade.

This will include:


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver her State of the State address — her first as an elected governor — today, January 10th  at 1:00.

Hochul will give the annual address at 1 p.m. in the state Assembly chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, the traditional location for it before former Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved them to the convention center at the Empire State Plaza, which allowed for more people to attend beyond the members of the Legislature. 

Hochul returned the address to the Assembly chamber this year and called it the “original and rightful setting” for it in her speech.

The address is given annually at the beginning of the new state legislative session. State lawmakers will returned to Albany on Jan. 4.

 

Clarence High School Presentation

clarencehighschool.jpgWhat a pleasure speaking about government affairs and advocacy this morning at Clarence High School’s policy class. My thanks to Lianna Hamad for the invitation and my friend Kathleen Lynch, Esq., who joined me in discussing how politics intersects with the law. We were both impressed about how engaged the senior students were, asking excellent questions about today’s often chaotic times. #bnarwny #ClarenceHighSchool #advocacy

 

Update on Good Cause Eviction bill:

Please see the link below for an explanation of the Good Cause Eviction bill, as summarized by NYSAR’s Mike Kelly. It is a comprehensive overview of the legislation, which we will continue to fight.

https://pubs.royle.com/publication/?m=45350&i=768879&p=22&ver=html5

 

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Several BNAR members and government affairs director Brenda Alesii attended Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s annual holiday fundraiser at Seneca One. An array of government, community leaders and WNYers from round the region were at the event, which also featured a toy drive to benefit needy children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BNAR's Government Affairs Committee welcomed Erie County Sheriff John Garcia to their meeting this afternoon. In office since January of this year, Garcia, a native of Spain, addressed a myriad of issues: the scope of the Sheriff’s responsibilities, Realtor safety tips, budgeting and severe staffing challenges, antiquated facilities, inmate and staff health and training, the exorbitant cost of keeping the Tops accused shooter under 24-hour watch, and the lack of diversity in law enforcement. Garcia, a Grand Island resident, spent 25 years in the Buffalo Police department, ascending to the role of homicide detective. He has won numerous awards for his service and bravery as well as his supervision of the Crisis Management Unit and was recognized by the NY/NJ Organized Crime Task Force, among others. He and his wife, Brenda, are the proud parents of three daughters.

Our Realtor members were engaged throughout, both in person and via Zoom, and asked Sheriff Garcia a variety of questions. It was an informative and memorable session. We thank Sheriff Garcia, Chief Mitchell Martin, and Realtor Deborah Kilbourn, who helped coordinate the meeting, for their time today.

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At the request of the Government Affairs Committee, National Fuel President Donna DeCarolis made a return appearance to speak to BNAR members about the controversial Climate Action Council’s (CAC) Draft Scoping Plan, the “blueprint” for New York’s energy transition. DeCarolis reviewed an in-depth outline of the state’s climate goals and the state’s Draft Scoping Plan. Additional information was made available to members, who had an opportunity to ask question of DeCarolis. She encourages concerned members and citizens to contact her office at 716-857-7000.

Public awareness campaign on state electrification proposals to be unveiled:

NYSAR recently secured a $75,000 grant from the National Association of REALTORS® in support of a consumer awareness campaign proposal educating New Yorkers on pending electrification recommendations from the state Climate Action Council. Matching funds from NYSAR’s Issues Mobilization Committee were also approved to support the campaign proposal. The state Climate Action Council is expected to release a final draft Scoping Plan at the end of December outlining recommendations to the governor and state Legislature to reduce carbon emissions across the state. Pending recommendations include:

Requiring single & multifamily property owners to obtain and disclose prior year energy consumption and energy performance ratings in real estate listings.

Cold Calling still prohibited in New York

New York’s State of Emergency related to COVID-19 expired on September 12 at midnight.  However Governor Kathy Hochul has declared numerous other States of Emergency that are currently in effect until at least October 9, 2022.  As a result of being under other States of Emergency, licensees are still prohibited from making any cold calls. 

Real estate licensees may not make any unsolicited phone calls to a member of the public during a State of Emergency. General Business Law §399-z(5)(a) states “It shall be unlawful for any telemarketer doing business in this state to knowingly make an unsolicited telemarketing sales call to any person in a county, city, town or village under a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency as described in sections twenty-four or twenty-eight of the executive law.” All other types of marketing such as mailers, billboards, social media, internet etc., are permitted. You may call a FSBO if you have an identifiable purchaser interested in the property.  You are prohibited from calling the FSBO to solicit the listing.  You may still perform business to business calls so long as you are calling the number provided as the business number.

Good news from Washington, D.C.:

President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, a sweeping climate, health care and tax bill that spares affordable housing investment and other real estate from the most feared new taxes. The $784 billion legislation allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, invests billions of dollars into clean energy and imposes a 15% minimum tax on corporations with more than $1 billion of earnings. A portion of the revenue raised also will go toward deficit reduction.

But the law excludes an array of tax measures on real estate investment proposed last year. “When discussions began on the original Build Back Better plan, there were nearly a dozen tax changes that could have decimated our efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing,” says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s chief advocacy officer. “After spending more than a year educating lawmakers on these proposals, a bipartisan consensus emerged that they weren’t a good idea, and none of the harmful tax changes made it into the final bill.”

In March, the White House included a historic funding request for affordable housing in its budget proposal. Then, in May, thousands of REALTORS® descended on Washington, D.C., and hand-delivered to Congress a comprehensive list of actions they could take to address the housing shortage. Also, in May, the Biden administration released a Housing Supply Action Plan. In July, the Treasury Department allowed the use of $350 billion in American Rescue Plan funds for developing, repairing and operating affordable housing units.

“We aren’t just working with Congress and the administration,” McGahn says. “We’re also working with industry partners and agencies on a wide array of initiatives to expand homeownership—such as the Black Homeownership Collaborative’ s 3by30 plan to add 3 million net new Black homeowners by 2030.” 

Governor Hochul signs bill to increase energy efficiency standards

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law Tuesday, July 5 that will broaden the powers of the state’s building code council when it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions and place tighter energy efficiency standards on new household appliances. The Advanced Building Codes, Appliances and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act requires the state Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to come up with tougher water and energy efficiency standards for standard appliances – including everything from refrigerators to ice machines to clothes dryers to commercial fryers. Anything that does not meet the new standards will not be permitted to be sold, leased or installed in New York, according to the law. The law will further require the state’s new building code to take the state’s climate goals into account “to the fullest extent possible” as they are developed. New York to apply tougher energy efficiency standards with new climate laws.

NYSAR submits testimony on recommendations from State Climate Action Council

On June 29th, NYSAR submitted formal testimony to the New York State Climate Action Council expressing serious concerns regarding the costs and feasibility of several recommendations included in the Council’s Draft Scoping Plan. Among those concerns include high costs of electrification and retrofitting single-family homes to be all-electric, affordability and reliability of energy supply to consumers, and the overall impact on current and future homeowners and commercial property owners. Read NYSAR’s full testimony here. 

The Climate Action Council has made the following recommendations:

Requiring single & multifamily property owners to obtain and disclose prior year energy consumption and energy performance ratings in real estate listings.

Early voting for New York governor and other offices runs from Saturday, June 18 through June 26th. Erie County has the most extensive early voting program in the State, with 38 locations available.  Voters may cast their ballot at any location regardless of where they reside & may also hand deliver completed absentee ballots to election inspectors at all early voting locations. For more information or questions, call (716) 858-8891; website: https://elections.erie.gov

Here is an update on the Good Cause Eviction bill, which the BNAR has lobbied hard against:

We have successfully halted the progress of the Good Cause Eviction bill, which was introduced by a Senator Julia Salazar, a progressive Democrat from Brooklyn. The bill would have capped annual rent hikes at 3% and made it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants for not paying rent if it increased by more than that, unless they could prove “good cause” for doing so in court, such as violating other terms of the  lease agreement. This would often result in permanent tenancy, and allow tenants to get away with not paying rent for months as well as prevent wholesale redevelopment of buildings. This bill will most likely be re-introduced in January. Thanks for all your work in helping to raise awareness of this impactful issue and for those of you who lobbied with us in Albany on May 10th.

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Lobbying has been the focus of the BNAR leadership team over the first two weeks of the month. On May 1st, we traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with our region’s Congressional representatives and discussed key topics directly related to home ownership.

Additionally, a week later, we traveled to Albany with a contingent of REALTOR members who met with our State Senators and Assembly members in Albany. Our focus was on four specific areas of interest: Good Cause Eviction, Telemarketing Restrictions, Housing Co-op Transparency, and the All Electric Building Act.

Congressional Maps

On April 28, 2022, the state’s highest court threw out the state’s Democratic-drawn congressional map because of partisan gerrymandering. After a redistricting commission couldn't agree on the district lines, the Democratic majority took the pen. Republicans sued, arguing the lines were skewed. An appeals court agreed, saying that the maps gave Democrats a leg up in 22 of the state's 26 congressional districts — and that it violated the state constitution. Now, the court has appointed a special master to draw new maps. The delay means NY’s primary election — which was scheduled for June — may not happen until August. All of this could throw a wrench in candidates’ plans as they try to garner support ahead of the midterms.

 

Good Cause Eviction Update:

Take Action Now! The state Legislature is considering passage of “Good Cause Eviction” legislation, which would restrict the ability of a landlord to evict a tenant, even in cases where their lease has expired so long as the tenant continued to pay rent. The bill (S.3082/A.5573) would also effectively cap annual rent increases to 3% or 1.5 times the CPI for most rental properties statewide with four units or more, unless the landlord is able to prove before a judge that an increase above that threshold is necessary or reasonable.

Urge your state lawmakers to oppose “Good Cause Eviction” legislation by filling out the petition here. This petition is part of NYSAR’s coalition efforts to oppose “Good Cause Eviction” as we partner with other real estate and business groups across the state.

“Good Cause Eviction” would simply make it less affordable to provide rental housing, severely discourage real estate investment, and ultimately drive up rents for tenants. Thank you for making your voice heard on this important issue.

Complete the Call for Action by copying and pasting the following link into your browser or clicking on the button below:

https://www.hfaany.com/take-action

The BNAR and NYSAR continue to lobby against the passage of the Good Cause Eviction bill, which would undoubtedly result in higher property taxes, fewer quality homes, and impossible burden on property owners. The Eviction Moratorium, which expired on January 15, 2022, has already proven to be detrimental to so many owners, especially the numerous mom-and-pop owners in our region. Tenants in New York State already have ample protection against eviction. The Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019 provided tenants throughout the state with several new and enhanced protections against eviction.

Recently NYSAR and other concerned parties sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature detailing why this bill should not be passed.  Here are the key points:

Thank you for your leadership during this time of crisis and for your efforts to help our state build back better and more equitably. As a statewide coalition of property owners, we were pleased to see the inclusion of $2 billion in pandemic relief funds in the FY 2023 Budget proposal. We are writing to request that you allocate the full $2 billion towards either the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) or other rental assistance programs. The ERAP program is the best way to get targeted help to renters financially hurt by the COVID-19 emergency, but the program needs more funding for it to be effective. ERAP has thousands of unfulfilled, pending applications that require funding. Additionally, there may be more eligible renters who did not yet apply. We expect that many of them will now apply with the expiration of the COVID[1]19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Act (CEEFPA). Lastly, as ERAP only covers 12-months in arrears, either this program must be modified or LRAP must be adapted to ensure tenants in particularly dire circumstances can access a second allocation. The immediate availability of the State funds could allow for the money to flow more quickly to renters in need. By partnering with courts across the state, these funds could be distributed to prevent nonpayment proceedings from progressing and keep struggling renters in their homes

As always, contact me with any questions at balesii@bnar.org or at 716-636-9000, x110.

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What has RPAC done for you lately?

Wondering about your return on your 2021 RPAC investment? Here are some highlights:

DEFEATED PROPOSALS NYSAR and RPAC played defense on several ill-conceived proposals before the New York State Legislature that were ultimately defeated, including:

PASSED PROPOSALS NYSAR and RPAC advocated for the passage of the following legislation that were all signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul:

Please visit the government affairs section of www.nysar.com or join the RPAC of New York Facebook group for the most up to date information on RPAC and NYSAR’s legislative program.

Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. 

As always, please contact me with any questions. Thank you for your support!

Brenda Alesii
BNAR Government Affairs Director
VP - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
O: 716-636-9000  ext 110
D: - 716-923-4152