The Real Deal yesterday took a look at the Real Estate Board of New York’s opposition to several bills recently introduced in the New York City Council. One of those proposed laws is sponsored by local Council member Margaret Chin. Here’s the gist of the story:
Among the nine pieces of legislation are proposals to limit after-hours construction, prohibit owners of buildings with multiple violations from receiving permits and requiring all hotel development plans – even those that are as of right – to go before the local community board for review. The list is part of a little-known 125-page report REBNY drafted earlier this year as a guideline for City Hall as it considers ways to build or preserve 200,000 affordable units over the next 10 years… The report also flagged a bill introduced by Lower Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret Chin that would require building owners to maintain an escrow account worth 10 percent of five years’ of rent rolls to fund tenant relocations following a vacate order.
Chin is also co-sponsor of seven other bills opposed by the real estate trade group. The Council member told the Real Deal she’s not buying the argument that the various proposals would hinder affordable housing development:
While I understand there are concerns about costs for developers, I’m supporting these bills because of the positive impact they’ll have for tenants and communities across our city… I’m also a passionate supporter of Mayor de Blasio’s ten-year affordable housing plan, and I know that good legislation won’t get in the way of accomplishing that goal.
In last year’s City Council campaign, a political action committee controlled by the Real Estate Board spent more than $200,000 to re-elect Chin. Her opponents complained that Chin did not denounce the outside expenditures forcefully enough. As a result, those opponents have been watching her second term actions closely for any signs that she is beholden to the real estate industry.