LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: May State Legislative Updates

Philip Weiden | May 2020

The   will hold joint hearings on the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis. The first hearing was scheduled virtually for May 13th and was to look at whether the federal response was sufficient in view of the disproportionate impact on New York State the virus has had. The second hearing, which has not been scheduled as of yet, will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on minority communities. Information will be posted for anyone wishing to listen to the live hearings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has requested $60 billion from the federal government as part of a $500-billion package being requested by the Governors’ Association over a three-year period in order to avoid massive state and local government layoffs. These layoffs would further hurt the economy if they were to occur. They could also further damage the real estate market as town employees who deal with housing in various ways and county governments, such as county clerks, would be forced to cut services, which could delay real estate transactions from taking place.

The eviction and foreclosure moratorium has been extended until August 20th for people that are unemployed or can show that COVID-19 has adversely affected them. Prior to the extension, the eviction moratorium covered all lessees. This could still be amended again to include all tenants. However, and this is important to stress, foreclosures and evictions cannot commence in any event while the courts remain closed. We have not yet heard when they will reopen.

Finally, On May 6, NYSAR 2020 President Jennifer Stevenson submitted a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, as well as the Empire State Development Corporation, state Legislature and county executives across the state providing recommendations on the re-opening of real estate in New York. The letter states that most states across the nation, including all of the six adjoining coalition states, allow at least some form of limited in-person showings. NYSAR believes New York State can join these states and allow limited in-person contact. Stay tuned for updates on these matters. To read the full letter go to: https://www.nysar.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GA_Letter_for_GovCuomo_Reopening_050620.pdf?utm_source=NYSAR+Master+List&utm_campaign=0f663ffd95-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_ENEWS_090818_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1e488a523-0f663ffd95-160969613

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.