LandlordsNY Briefing for December 3rd

State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Dist. 12) has drafted legislation that, if passed, will prohibit engaging in real estate transactions based on nonpublic government action and make such an act a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The law would be similar to laws that make it illegal for individuals to purchase stock in a company based on inside information.

“There is no reason that trading on inside information on stocks is illegal, but allowing it for a commodity like real estate is allowed,” Mr. Gianaris said.

The impetus behind the law stems from a Wall Street Journal article about Amazon employees who entered into contracts for condos in Long Island City prior to the announcement that Amazon’s second headquarters, HQ2, would be moving into the western Queens neighborhood.

The Wall Street Journal has more.

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Lynne Patton, the head of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II office (which oversees both New York and New Jersey), says she intends to move into public housing in New York City for the month of January. She hopes the experience will allow her to better understand the troubles facing those who live in public housing.

Specifically, Ms. Patton plans to move into the Grant Houses in Harlem. The complex was in the news a lot recently, as residents were forced to spend Thanksgiving without heat. Ms. Patton will move in at a date to be determined in the near future, provided she is given approval from HUD’s general counsel.

The New York Daily News has more.

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In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World

The Central Intelligence Agency claims that it has intercepted additional evidence to suggest that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, was communicating with a team of mercenaries as they carried out the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul; Qatar has announced that it plans to withdraw from OPEC in January, ostensibly to focus on developing its capacity for natural gas production; yellow vest protests in France have taken a toll on the French economy and blockades of major fuel depots are causing many gas stations to go dry; and President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will call a truce in the trade war and have agreed upon a vague nonbinding agreement without any specifics until a more substantive deal is reached (evidently by March 1). News of the cooling of tensions between the two largest economies in the world pushed stocks higher, President Trump announced that he hopes to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement to force Congress to enact the revised version of NAFTA (the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement), PATH trains have successfully upgraded their safety systems to comply with a federal law before the December 31 deadline, Ikea will open its first store in Manhattan this spring, and the NYPD found an engagement ring after a clumsy man dropped it down a utility grate in Times Square while proposing.

You are probably getting enough protein, some spiders produce milk, dairies sound like dairies, the new clock at the National Institute of Standards and Measurement is so accurate that humans will need to improve our understanding of gravity to use it correctly, NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft will arrive at the asteroid Bennu to study its composition and history around noon today, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari publicly denied being either a clone or a lookalike of the real president. Finally, George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away Friday night at the age of 94.

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