City Hall – The New York City Council on Thursday will vote on legislation that will require developers of large housing projects receiving financial assistance from the City to allocate 15 percent of the units for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. As New York City continues to face a homelessness crisis, this legislation is designed to move more New Yorkers into stable and permanent housing.
This legislation will apply to new rental buildings that have more than 40 units, and will make New York City the first large city in the country to require developers to set aside housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This bill would go into effect in July 2020.
The Council will also vote on a package of education bills that will expand the data reported by the New York City Department of Education on special education services. There are an estimated nearly 200,000 students in NYC schools who require special education services and too often parents report that their children are not getting required special education services in a timely way. These measures are designed to hold the Education Department more accountable by requiring them to provide more information about their compliance to rules that require them to provide services to students with disabilities.
There is also a resolution that calls for the school system to create a chief compliance officer position so there is a designated person who will ensure schools are complying with Individualized Education Programs and other required services for students in special education.
The council will also vote on legislation designed to better regulate indoor air temperatures in buildings that have not complied with legal heat requirements. Owners of those buildings would be required to install devices that can monitor and report internal temperatures in specific dwelling units.
This device will report data on temperatures that individual tenants can use on and offline. The New York City Housing Maintenance Code requires building owners to maintain certain temperatures in each unit during heat season. However, tenants and owners may not always be aware if the building is being adequately heated. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development would be required to select 50 rental buildings based on factors indicating heat issues to install the device and for heat inspections. The buildings would be chosen on factors such as a high number of heat violations or complaints and other potential indicators that a building owner has failed to comply with the heating requirements set forth in the Housing Maintenance Code.
Additionally, the Council will be voting on legislation that will amend current local law that currently only collects information on injuries sustained by municipal employees in the course of duty in order to include occupational diseases.
Finally, the Council will vote on several land use and finance items.
Housing & Buildings Legislation
Requires that a percentage of dwelling units in housing development projects receiving city financial assistance be set aside for homeless individuals and families
Proposed Int. No. 1211, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., would require developers who receive City financial assistance for new construction of housing development projects to set aside at least 15 percent of dwelling units offered for rent in each housing development project for homeless individuals and families. The Department of Housing and Preservation would be required to annually report to the Mayor and the Speaker the number of units set aside for homeless individuals and families for each housing development project and housing preservation project that received City financial assistance, as well as whether the project is a supportive housing project. This bill would take effect on July 1, 2020.
“Today, the City Council is voting on legislation that will tackle both the housing and homelessness crisis. Despite well-intentioned policies, the number of people living in shelters has reached record high numbers. Introduction 1211, which would require residential developments receiving city subsidies to set aside 15% of units for the homeless, gives us a path forward to creating what advocates and shelter residents have been calling on for years – thousands of units of new, permanent housing for the city’s most vulnerable. Legislating an increased set aside ensures that future councils and administrations will continue to do their part in addressing a crisis that one day we will eradicate. I thank Speaker Corey Johnson for leadership and support on this issue, my colleagues who showed overwhelming support for the legislation, and most importantly, the advocates from the House Our Future NY campaign for their dedication to ensuring every New Yorker has access to permanent housing,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Extends the J-51 tax exemption and abatement program through June 30, 2020, and increases the assessed value limitation from $35,000 to $40,000.
Proposed Introduction No. 1710-A, sponsored by Council Member Donovan J. Richards, would extend the J-51 tax exemption and abatement program through June 30, 2020. The J-51 program is administered by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and provides tax exemption or abatement for major capital improvements on certain buildings. This bill would also raise the assessed value limitation on the units eligible for this program from $35,000 to $40,000.
“As we continue to wait for reforms to our property tax system, the renewal of the J-51 tax incentives for owners of converted or renovated co-ops and condos in the outer boroughs will allow thousands of homeowners to improve living conditions and still maintain some of the most reasonably priced homes in the entire city. There are so few opportunities for homeownership in our city, which is why it is critical that we provide as much incentives as possible to ensure that there is still an affordable path to ownership for our families in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. I’d like to thank Speaker Johnson for keeping this program active across New York City,” said Council Member Donovan J. Richards.
Requires dedicated heat violation inspections and the installation of temperature reporting devices in certain multiple dwellings
Proposed Introduction No. 948-A, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie J. Torres, would require HPD to select a list of 50 buildings based on such factors as the highest number of heat violations, the highest number of heat complaints, and other factors that indicate the building owner has failed to comply with the heating requirements set forth in the Housing Maintenance Code. This bill would require owners of buildings on this list to install an internet capable temperature reporting device in each dwelling unit for up to four years.
The device must be capable of measuring the indoor air temperature at least once per hour and then reporting that information to a server from which the data can be viewed, through the internet or other means when no such connection is available, by both the building owner and the tenant. This bill would also require HPD to conduct targeted inspections of buildings on that list every two weeks for the duration of the heat season.
“This technology would turn up the heat on landlords. In private housing not only do you have an epidemic of heat and hot water outages, but you have the added element of harassment. There are landlords who want to deprive residents of heat and hot water as a means of harassment. This legislation will bring housing code enforcement into the 21st century. Heat and hot water are not a luxury; they are basic necessities of life,” said Council Member Ritchie J. Torres.
Requires the New York City Department of Education to provide school-level data regarding compliance rates for students’ individualized education programs
Proposed Introduction No. 559-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, would amend Local Law 27 of 2015 to require the DOE to disaggregate by school its report on individualized education program compliance rates and provide the number and percentage of students, by school, that are receiving the full services they are entitled to.
“I’m proud to have two pieces of legislation moving forward at today’s Stated Meeting. My bill, Introduction 559-A, will require the Department of Education (DOE) to expand its current reporting on Individual Education Plan (IEP) compliance rates to include reporting on a school level. This will provide a more holistic picture of what is happening in our more than 1,800 schools. Most importantly, this bill highlights what services students are not receiving, which helps ensure more transparency and accountability. Resolution 749-A encourages the DOE to create a special education Chief Compliance Officer position to ensure students with IEPs are a priority and that the DOE is in compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Our students deserve the best, and these bills make sure there is true accountability. I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for his leadership in advancing the special education legislative package,” said NYC Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.
Calls upon the New York City Department of Education to establish a chief compliance officer position to ensure compliance with Individualized Education Programs and other requirements for students in special education
Proposed Resolution No. 749-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, calls upon the DOE to create a chief compliance officer position within the Department to ensure that DOE is in compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA guarantees a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities through and Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is through an IEP that a student with disabilities receives special education services. This chief compliance officer would ensure that DOE is meeting its legal mandate to provide all the services a student with disabilities is entitled to under IDEA.
Requires the New York City Department of Education to report tri-annually on compliance with students’ individual education programs and to expand the services on which the department is required to annually report
Proposed Introduction No. 900-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would amend Local Law 27 of 2015 to require the DOE to report tri-annually, rather than annually, on its provision of special education services in compliance with students’ IEPs. The bill would also add “assistive technology services” and “special transportation services” to the enumerated list of services that students with disabilities are entitled to on which DOE is required to annually report.
“Int. No. 900-A builds on the work started by former Public Advocate, Tish James, forcing the Department of Education to provide more information about services for public school students with disabilities. Tish James introduced this bill while she was Public Advocate and I am proud to carry it to the finish line. The bill requires the DOE to report three times annually, rather than just once, on its provision of special education services in compliance with students’ IEPs. This will help students with disabilities receive the critical services they are entitled to receive. Thank you to Speaker Corey Johnson for his devotion to education reform and for working with us to ensure this bill’s success,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.
Requires the New York City Department of Education to annually report on certain claims for payment for tuition or services
Proposed Introduction No. 1380-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require the DOE to annually report on claims for payment for tuition or services, for the preceding academic year, that resulted in a written settlement agreement with the Department. These claims are made by parents of a student with a disability pursuant to a due process complaint notice filed during the preceding academic year or a ten-day notice filed when parents believe their child is not receiving appropriate special education services in public school. The bill would also require the Department to report on the number of impartial hearing officers certified by the state education department to cover New York City, how many of those hearing officers had their certification revoked by the state education department, and how many cases hearing officers recused themselves from.
“The tragic reality in our city is that some children with disabilities are still unable to receive the educational services they need and to which they are entitled. Parents are forced to exhaust all options and then front payments for special education that the City is supposed to provide. To make matters far worse, the process to reimburse parents is scuttled by bureaucratic and legal nightmares. My legislation is intended to hold the Department of Education accountable to their own commitments for special education reimbursements; stop wasting taxpayer money and resources; deliver much-needed transparency for parents and advocates; ease the bureaucratic and financial burden for parents; and, most importantly, improve education for all special-education students,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Requires reports on preschool special education and early intervention services
Proposed Introduction No. 1406-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would require the DOE to annually report on several indicators regarding its evaluation of preschool-age children for special education services and the provision of such services. Those indicators would cover the initial referral for evaluation at the beginning of the process to the provision of such services and reporting on how many students eligible to receive such services actually receiving them, in full and partial. The bill also requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to annually report on several indicators regarding its provision of early intervention services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities.
“Intro. 1406-A will help deliver appropriate special education services and early intervention services to pre-school aged children, helping put them on the path to success. This legislation builds upon the Council’s pioneering effort to improve how our schools deal with special education services. Nearly five years ago, the Council passed my bill, enacted as Local Law 27 of 2015, requiring the Department of Education to provide data on students receiving special education services. Intro 1406-A builds upon this successful effort by requiring the Department to report on preschool special education and early intervention services they currently offer. This report will help shed light on current practices and track the Department’s progress toward special education for all eligible students, no matter how economically disadvantaged or otherwise hard to reach. I want to thank Speaker Johnson, Chair Treyger and the many advocates for their commitment to this effort and to early childhood education in our city,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.
Civil Service and Labor Legislation
Related to the reporting of workers’ compensation data by the City of New York
Introduction No. 1604-B, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would expand the previous local law to require the collection of workers’ compensation data on occupational diseases in addition to physical injuries as well as collection of additional data overall. The bill would also require each agency to develop and implement an annual accident and illness program designed to reduce injuries and illnesses identified in the report and the mayor to submit a report on steps the city will take to develop programs to mitigate occupational injury and illnesses.
“The passage of Introduction 1604 represents a win for our civil servants and taxpayers alike. Unlike the previous law, this legislation will result in a data rich report that prioritizes the prevention of injury or illness, and helps to save the city tens of millions of dollars in costly workers’ compensation claims. Among the key data points to be found within the revamped summary is the inclusion of occupational diseases, and the knowledge gained through this particular enhancement will better reveal how city employees are getting hurt or sick on the job, enable the identification of patterns within specific titles, and bring about improvements in workplace ergonomics that can keep our workers safe and healthy. I thank my colleagues, Speaker Johnson, and the Administration for supporting the passage of this bill,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.
Extends health insurance coverage benefits to surviving family members of a deceased employee of the Department of Sanitation
Introduction No. 1786, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would extend health insurance coverage benefits specifically to the surviving family of Matthew Jakubowski, who worked at the Department of Sanitation. He was killed on September 24, 2019.
Extends health insurance coverage benefits to the surviving family members of a deceased employee of the Department of Transportation
Introduction No. 1810, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would extend health insurance coverage benefits specifically to the surviving family of Eduardo Calle Abril, who worked at the Department of Transportation. He was killed on October 22, 2019.
“Two of our city’s civil servants, Matthew Jakubowski at the Department of Sanitation and Eduardo Calle Abril at the Department of Transportation, tragically lost their lives over the course of their duty this past fall. All work has dignity, and, in gratitude for their service to our eight million plus New Yorkers, we as a government have a responsibility to ensure that the loved ones they left behind have the peace of mind they deserve. Introduction 1786 and Introduction 1810 will provide health insurance benefits to the surviving family members of these workers, and I thank my colleagues, Speaker Johnson, and the Administration for supporting the passage of these bills,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.
Calls on the New York City Employees’ Retirement System to expand the necessary qualifications for members to be considered disabled
Resolution No. 40-A, sponsored by Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr., would call on the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) to determine that members are “disabled” for purposes of receiving City disability pensions if 1) the state Workers’ Compensation Board determines that the member has a permanent partial disability and 2) the U.S. Social Security Administration determines that the member is disabled for substantial work activity and approved for social security disability benefits.
“When the NYS Workers Compensation Board and the US Social Security Administration have both found an injured worker eligible for benefits the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) needs to act, not make that injured worker jump through yet another process of paperwork and delays to access their accidental disability pension. Resolution 40 says the design of this system should change to reflect the fact that in Workers Comp and in SSA, we already have two examinations as to an injured worker’s circumstances. NYCERS should take those findings and create an altogether less burdensome, easier to navigate, and more common-sense system. Thanks to all my colleagues voting in favor of efforts to make that more common-sense system a reality for New Yorkers,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr.
Parks and Recreation Legislation
Co-names 55 thoroughfares and public places based on Council Member request
Preconsidered Introduction No., sponsored by Council Members Adams, Ampry-Samuel, Borelli, Brannan, Chin, Deutsch, Diaz, Espinal, Jr., Gibson, Gjonaj, Holden, Koslowitz, Lander, Levin, Matteo, Miller, Perkins, Reynoso, Richards, Rodriguez, Rose, Salamanca, Jr., Torres, Treyger, Vallone and Van Bramer, would co-name 55 thoroughfares and public places, based on requests of Council Members whose district includes the location. Of these 55 co-names, 5 are either a relocation of a previously enacted co-naming or a revision to the street sign installed with respect to a previously enacted co-naming.
Land Use Items
MMN 1902 117 Street
HPD is seeking approval for an Article XI ax exemption and Urban Development Action Area project designation and project approval to facilitate the rehabilitation and preservation of 41 units of affordable housing, located in Council Member Bill Perkins’ district.
The applicant, La Hermosa Christian Church, is seeking approval of a series of applications that would facilitate a mixed-use development for expansion of a church, within mixed-use building with 180 dwelling units, including approximately 45 affordable units. The council modification will remove MIH Option 2 and retain Option 1, in Council Member Bill Perkins’s district.
POPS Text Amendment
A Citywide Zoning Text Amendment that would facilitate the updating of the City’s public space symbol, require public space signage for various types of POPS, and allow as-of-right the addition of publicly accessible moveable tables and chairs. The Council will be modifying the application to make clear that required signage in all Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POPS), includes the words “Open to Public.”
The Council is considering Expense, Revenue, and Capital Budget Modifications to make midyear changes to the Fiscal 2020 Budget.
XI Property Tax Exemptions
William R. Anderson in Council Member Levine’s district, will receive a full, 32-year Article XI exemption to preserve 32 units of affordable rental housing.
1632 Hutchinson River Parkway East in Council Member Gjonaj’s district, will receive a partial, 40-year Article XI exemption to preserve 44 units of affordable rental housing.
1414 Walton Avenue in Council Member Cabrera’s district, will receive a full, 40-year Article XI exemption to preserve 60 units of affordable rental housing.
254 East 184 Street in Council Member Torres’s district, will receive a full, 40-year Article XI exemption to preserve 24 units of affordable homeownership.
Evergreen and Tiebout Pillars in Council Member Torres’s district and Council Member Salamanca’s district, will receive a full, 40-year Article XI exemption to preserve 120 units of affordable rental housing.