Bill requires those who directly benefit from City subsidies to pay their employees a living wage.
Council to vote on citywide Zone Green Text Amendment to remove barriers when installing green building features.
New York, NY- Today, the Council will vote on living wage legislation that will require those who directly benefit from City subsidies to pay their employees a living wage. Given the scale and types of City economic development projects, an estimated 600 workers a year will receive a living wage as a result of this bill, with the potential to cover thousands of jobs over the next several years.
Additionally, the Council will pass a Zone Green Text Amendment to ease barriers in the construction of green building design citywide. In tandem with this, the Council will vote on a bill to increase how far sun control devices can extend over street lines, improving the ability of such fixtures to shade a building and in turn, reduce energy costs.
Living Wage Bill
Each year, the City spends hundreds of millions of dollars on economic development in order to create jobs for New Yorkers. With this investment comes the responsibility of ensuring that jobs generated from taxpayer dollars enable New Yorkers to support their families.
Under the living wage legislation, direct recipients of at least one million in government financial assistance must pay their employees a wage of $10 an hour with health care benefits or $11.50 an hour without. The bill also establishes a goal of providing a living wage for 75 percent of all hourly jobs on economic development projects, including retail tenant jobs. To monitor the City’s progress towards that goal, the legislation includes mandatory wage reporting obligations.
The legislation will be implemented prospectively, and does not apply to deals where financial assistance has already been approved. Unless the City or the Economic Development Corporation provides a project with additional financial assistance, only then would the law cover an existing project.
“When we invest in economic development, we should expect that the jobs that are created are good jobs – ones that will protect and grow the middle class. This bill does that and does so in a way that will not overburden businesses,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The City has negotiated living wage requirements on individual deals in the past, and I believe that we must continue this work to provide as many living wage jobs as possible on subsidized projects. With this bill, we are fulfilling our duty to New Yorkers to make sure that taxpayer dollars are used to provide the maximum public good. By providing a high quality of life, attracting the best talent and protecting our middle class, we will remain the greatest city in the world.”
“I am pleased and gratified that the Council will be voting on legislation that will provide living wage jobs at City-subsidized projects. I believe this bill has established a significant and important first step in addressing income inequality in our city. As one of the lead sponsors of this bill, I am fully committed to moving ahead under the Speaker’s leadership to implement this historic legislation,” said Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.
The Council will also vote on a citywide Zone Green Text Amendment that will remove barriers to installing green building features. With this change, the Council will essentially give a permanent green light to make way for greener buildings throughout the five boroughs.
Zone Green will allow buildings to add features to help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, generate clean and renewable energy, manage storm water and reduce heat through vegetation on roofs.
Key elements of the proposal include new allowances for solar panels, skylights, green roofs and other rooftop features to project above current height limits, and sun control devices to project up to 2 feet, 6 inches in to required setbacks, yards and open spaces.
By making the components of green buildings a permanent part of the city’s skyline, the Council continues its commitment to create a healthier, greener city.
“The bill we are voting on today increases the maximum allowable projection of sun control devices beyond the street line of a building from 10 inches to 2 feet, 6 inches,” said Council Member Erik Martin Dilan, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings. “This change will allow sun control devices to better combat heat gains in buildings, reduce glare and improve the comfort of its occupants. It will also help owners save on energy costs because properly designed and installed sun control devices have the potential of decreasing air conditioning loads.”