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2019 NYS Legislative Session Highlights

06.24.2019

The Network summarized highlights from the 2019 NYS legislative session as relates to the supportive housing sector.

There were a number of bills for which the Network was advocating and following at the end of this year’s legislative session including rent regulation, prevailing wage, and two Office of Mental Health housing bills.

RENT REGULATIONS

On Friday, June 14th, the NYS Legislature passed and the Governor signed the “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019" (S06458/A8281), 24 hours before the rent regulation laws were set to expire. The bill encompasses a large number of rent regulation changes and protections and makes them permanent.

One piece of the legislation includes language that would extend rent stabilization protections to all nonprofit scattered site providers that were previously exempted because of their status as a corporation or nonprofit. It also includes language that would ensure the 14,000 units of existing scattered site housing be afforded rent regulation protections upon lease renewal.

A special thank you to the sponsors and champions of the bill, Senator Brian Kavanagh and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner as well as Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, who was the originator of the bill. Also a special thank you to Women in Need who first raised this issue back in 2017 and all of our members who provided invaluable and ongoing guidance and support about how this legislation would impact our scattered site portfolio.

For more information on how this specific provision will impact supportive housing, please see the Network’s testimony. For more information on the entire package of bills passed, please see the Senate and Assembly press releases here and here.

PREVAILING WAGE

The Legislature did not pass the two prevailing wage proposals that were proposed earlier in the year: one for construction projects and one for building service workers. The Network was successful in getting support from both the Assembly and Senate for an affordable and supportive housing carve out in various proposals being discussed. This issue is expected to be revisited next year, so we will continue to educate members about the impact this legislation will have on supportive housing.

OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH LEGISLATION

On June 17th, the Legislature passed a bill (S05637A/A07489A) that would establish a temporary commission relating to the evaluation of the Office of Mental Health housing programs. This committee would review the current status of all mental health housing programs and the accuracy of the established rates. The bill will be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.

A second bill (A07487/S05638) to ensure that the Office of Mental Health cover the full cost of rent for supportive housing contracts was introduced by both Mental Health Chairs Senator Carlucci and Assembly Member Gunther but unfortunately did not make it to the floor for a vote this session.

For any additional information or questions, please contact the Network's Albany office at (518) 465-3233 or email.

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