The New York City Council is considering legislation that will give the city more information regarding vacant properties throughout the five boroughs. One such bill, Int 226-2018, whose prime sponsor is Councilmember Deborah Rose (D-Dist. 49), will require property owners who allow a parcel to sit vacant for more than one year register the property with unspecified agencies of the city. Failure to do so will result in a fine between $100 and $500 per week.
Critics of this bill, and other legislation like it, note that a law that allows the city to analyze data on vacant properties already exists: Local Law 29. This law, which was enacted January 8, 2018, requires the city conduct a census on all vacant land outside of flood zones and produce “a list of the potentially vacant buildings and potentially vacant lots disclosed as a result of such analysis.” The city has been given three years to compile this list.
Sarah Mallory, the chief of staff for the government affairs division of the Department of Housing and Preservation, told the Council at a committee meeting on Tuesday, “We believe Local Law 29 more appropriately utilizes our resources and will result in unprecedented data collected by the city on vacant lots.”
Curbed New York has more.
Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would like to implement a new strategy to end lead poisoning in children. Though the number of children poisoned by lead was down 90 percent from 2005, this still means 4,200 children experienced lead poisoning in 2017. The mayor's initiative is called Leadfree NYC. It hopes to eliminate the primary culprit for the poisonings, lead paint.
While admirable, most of the specifics contained within the plan will do little to combat the reason behind the poisonings. The reason is clear: Some landlords are not remediating exposed lead paint. Statistics released by the city clearly show that this is essentially the sole problem.
Rather than passing new laws that add to the city's bloated bureaucracy, inspectors should enforce existing regulations or the mayor and the City Council should make violations more costly.
Crain's New York has more.
In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World
China is hoping to turn the barren deserts of Central Asia into the next center of the global economy, the United Kingdom seems to have no idea how it expects to leave the European Union, average Venezuelans are worried that the new sanctions imposed by the United States against the South American nation's state-run oil company will make their already dire financial situations worse, the Islamic State’s territory has shrunk down to around six square kilometers, and the United States is officially the 22nd least corrupt country in the world. President Donald Trump publicly contradicted and mocked the U.S. intelligence community following its assessment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, more U.S. troops are being sent to the border to support civilian authorities, the Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady when they convene today, U.S. consumer confidence fell for the third consecutive month, Apple's revenue fell 5 percent in the first quarter, and Foxconn admitted that it will not be creating thousands of manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly still upset that he was forced from President Donald Trump's transition team by senior White House aid and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, a new loophole being considered by the city's Department of Finance will grant those who purchase an apartment using a corporate name a significant tax break if the reason why they are using a corporate name is for "security," a tenant coalition is organizing renters who live in apartments managed by the New York City Housing Authority and preparing them for a potential rent strike, One Times Square (arguably the most looked-at building in the world) will be redeveloped, Punjabi Deli faces an uncertain future, and there is a 49-square-foot “studio” on the Upper West Side that is on the market for $510 per month. Finally, the death of 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson is drawing attention to the lack of accessibility in New York City's subway system after she fatally fell down a flight of stairs in a Midtown Manhattan subway station while carrying her child in a stroller.
Americans received 26.3 billion robocalls last year, 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets have been recalled, a Florida man attacked his wife with a burrito (again), mussels lose their ability to stick to surfaces when exposed to microplastics, "frost quakes" are real, and members of a police force in Illinois are asking for volunteers (unpaid it would seem) to "face the shocking end of their Tasers."