Issue 07: May 9 – May 15

May 15, 2020
Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • The reopening of five regions: Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Central New York.
  • The extension of “NY on PAUSE”’ to May 28 for regions not eligible to reopen.
  • NY, NJ, CT, and DE have come to an agreement to open State beaches on the Friday before Memorial Day under strict social distancing precautions.
  • Beaches in the State controlled by cities, towns, or county’s may reopen based on the discretion of local governments, which can impose additional requirements and must notify the public of their plans by May 20.
  • Local officials and regional control centers are in charge of enforcing reopening requirements and control centers should hold daily morning meetings to review and monitor infection, testing, and hospitalization rates.
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • The City’s COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan, which includes:
  • Investment of $55m in 74,000 air conditioners for vulnerable New Yorkers
  • 22,000 to NYCHA residents
  • $20m of the $55m from NYSERDA; balance is eligible for Federal reimbursement.
  • New Yorkers eligible for installation will be identified by NYCHA, DFTA, HRA, and HPD.
  • Creation of safer summer cooling options and offer of financial help to cover summer utility bills.
  • City will request that NYS allocate its share of national energy assistance from the Federal CARES Act for summer relief.
  • City is petitioning the Public Service Commission to double its current commitment to subsidize summer bills, increasing customer benefit by $160 per family over summer.
  • City is looking at sports venues, auditoriums, and other large venues to use as non-traditional cooling centers.
  • Preventing and responding to power outages
  • City is working with ConEd to prevent and respond to any future power outages.
  • City will mobilize emergency generators for deployment.

Real Estate Update

NY Times op-ed outlining a vision for inclusive housing policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • “Opinion: America’s Cities Could House Everyone, if They Chose To,” here.
May 14, 2020

Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • Calls to Congress to pass House Stimulus 4.
  • The White House agreed to expedite $3.9b to the MTA.
  • State will deliver an initial $3m in grants to businesses to manufacture medical supplies and equipment here in NY.

NYS released new interim guidance for industries eligible to reopen in Phase One.

  • Each business will need to affirm it has read and will adhere to the guidelines.
  • Guidance for Construction Activities here.
  • Guidance for Non-Food Related Agriculture Activities here.
  • Guidance for Forestry Activities here.
  • Guidance for Commercial Fishing Services here.
  • Guidance for Curbside and In-Store Pickup Retail Business Activities here.
  • Guidance for Manufacturing Activities here.
  • Guidance for the Wholesale Trade Sector here.
  • For more information on the State’s reopening guidelines, see here.
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • An expanded testing qualification criteria; New Yorkers can now seek a COVID-19 test if,
  • COVID-19 symptoms are evident, regardless of age, chronic conditions or occupation.
  • There has been close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, regardless of whether symptoms are evident.
  • Individual works in a congregate residential setting (nursing home, shelter, or adult care facility), regardless of whether symptoms are evident.
Real Estate Update

Real estate groups’ plan for construction reopening.

  • The Building Construction Trades Council, Real Estate Board of New York, and the Building Trades Employers Association are negotiating the terms of how to reopen certain private construction sites once the State lifts its stay-at-home order in New York City.
  • If a deal is made, it would only apply to sites with a full or partial union presence and to sites subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Early terms of an agreement include staggered work hours and work weeks, and premium pay for overtime shift.
  • See The Real Deal article here.
May 13, 2020
Federal Update

House Democrats’ $3 trillion stimulus package: Heroes Act/House Stimulus 4

Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • Essential workers are testing positive for antibodies at a lower rate than the general population.
  • Elective surgeries can resume in 12 more counties: Albany, Cayuga, Chemung, Columbia, Clinton, Cortland, Montgomery, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Warren.
  • North Country has met the reopening criteria and will be permitted to reopen on May 15.
  • Reference to his op-ed, which advocates for the Federal government to tie worker protections to corporate subsidies; the proposal will be introduced by members of NY’s Congressional Delegation as the Americans First Law.
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • His support for House Stimulus 4, which would provide approximately $17b for NYC, $34b for NYS.
  • The City will open 12 more miles of streets and nine new miles of temporary bike lanes (see updated list here).
City Council Update

City Council Stated Meeting

  • Bills approved:
  • Intros 1916 – to require the City to waive or refund all revocable consent fees for unenclosed sidewalk cafes due between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
  • Intro 1940 – to require City agencies to publish a list of any licenses, permits, consents, or registrations that are not covered by the Mayor’s emergency renewal extension.
  • Intro 1914 – to make commercial tenant harassment based on COVID-19-impacted status subject to civil penalty.
  • Intro 1936 – to amend “harassment” in the Housing Maintenance Code to include threats against individuals based on status as COVID-19-impacted.
  • Intro 1908 – to restrict the fees that certain third-party food delivery services may charge restaurants during states of emergency when restaurants are prohibited from offering food for consumption on-premises, plus an additional 90 days thereafter.
  • Intro 1932 – to prohibit enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving a COVID-19-impacted tenant where the trigger event occurred during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
May 12, 2020
Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • A new regional monitoring dashboard, with updated information on each region’s progress with regard to the State’s reopening metrics.
  • Calls to the Federal government for $61b to prevent State budget cuts.

Requirements for industries and businesses reopening.

  • Businesses must consider three main factors:
  • Protections for employees and customers, including
  • Possible adjustments to workplace hours and shift design
  • Enacting social distancing protocols
  • Restricting non-essential travel for employees
  • Changes to the business operations, including
  • Requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact with others
  • Implementing strict cleaning and sanitation standards
  • Implementing processes that meet changing public health obligations, including
  • Screening individuals when they enter the workplace
  • Reporting confirmed positives to customers
  • “New York Forward” website here.
State Legislative Update

Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus’s calls for measures to increase revenue.

  • The Caucus recommended the following measures:
  • Adult-Use Cannabis
  • Mobile Sports Betting
  • Pied-à-Terre Tax
  • Stock Transfer Tax
  • Millionaire’s Tax
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • Additional appointments to the City’s Test and Trace Corps:
  • Dr. Neil Vora – Director of Tracing
  • Dr. Amanda Johnson – Director of Isolation
  • Grace Bonilla – Executive Director of the Equity and Racial Inclusion Task Force
News Update

Two New York Times editorials on the role of cities and density in creating opportunity.

  • Both editorials call for relaxing restrictive zoning which prevents new development, especially in affluent neighborhoods.
  • Read “The Cities We Need” here.
  • This article points out the need for cities to invest in affordable housing in wealthier neighborhoods in order to foster a more equitable, integrated city.
  • Read “Now is the Time to Embrace Density” here.
May 11, 2020
Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • The seven criteria all regions must meet before reopening (which can be found here):
  • 14-day decline in hospitalizations OR fewer than 15 new hospitalizations on a 3-day average.
  • 14-day decline in hospitalized deaths OR fewer than 5 new deaths on a 3-day average.
  • New Hospitalizations—under 2 per 100,000 residents (3-day rolling average).
  • Share of total beds available (threshold of 30%).
  • Share of ICU beds available (threshold of 30%).
  • 30 per 1,000 residents tested monthly (7-day average of new tests per day).
  • 30 contact tracers per 10,000 residents or to meet current infection rate.
  • Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley meet the criteria to reopen on May 15.
  • Phase one of reopening will include construction, manufacturing, retail with curbside pickup, agriculture, forestry and fishing.
  • All retail will be authorized to do curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup.
  • State will reopen low-risk business and recreational activities on May 15, including landscaping, gardening, tennis, drive-in movie theaters.
  • Members of NYC’s regional control room:
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Rossana Rosado, Secretary of State
  • Kathy Wylde, President and CEO of Partnership for NYC
  • Vinny Alvarez, NYC Central Labor Council President
  • Corey Johnson, City Council Speaker
  • Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx Borough President
  • Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Sharon Lee, Acting Queens Borough President
  • Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
  • James Oddo, Staten Island Borough President
State Legislative Update

Plans to return tto legislative session.

  • State legislative leaders say they are waiting to see what Congress does before they develop plans for their own lawmaking session.
  • See full Wall Street Journal article here.
NYC Budget Update

City lawmakers discuss potential City budget cuts in the absence of Federal aid.

  • See Crain’s full article here.
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • New efforts to support community-based health clinics, including
  • Additional weekly deliveries of surgical masks and gloves.
  • Access to volunteers through the Medical Reserve Corps.
  • Expansion of tele-health services for 150 community providers.
  • Expansion of access to the City’s Test and Trace Corps.
  • Additional support to help clinics access Federal COVID-funding.
  • Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of Small Business Services (SBS), will now serve as Senior Advisor for Small Business; Jonnel Doris, former Director of NYC Office of M/WBE, will serve as the new Commissioner of SBS.
  • New rules for Alternate Side Parking (ASP):
  • ASP will continue to be suspended through May 17.
  • ASP will resume for the week of May 18 to 24 for a “clean sweep” citywide.
  • ASP will then be suspended for two weeks after May 25 through June 7, during which DSNY will reassess cleanliness.
Agency Update – Department of Buildings

Automatic renewal of all licenses/registrations and permits extended through June 7, 2020.

  • Renewal will be valid through the duration of the state of emergency, and may be extended again at a later date.
  • DOB has stated that licensees/registrants/permittees must continue to ensure that all required insurances remain active during this extended period.
  • DOB requires that any site listed as “approved work” on the DOB’s essential construction interactive map must post an updated Certificate of Authorization, reflecting the new date.
  • Certificates of Authorization can be accessed and printed here.
  • Sites listed on the map under the categories of affordable housing, homeless shelter, hospital/health care, schools, and utilities do not require such a posting.
  • See the document here for additional details.
May 10, 2020
Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • New mandates for nursing homes, including:
  • COVID-19 positive residents must be transferred to a State facility, if they cannot properly be treated or quarantined.
  • Hospitals may not discharge a patient to a nursing home unless the patient tests negative for COVID-19.
  • Nursing home staff must be tested twice per week.
  • Nursing homes which do not follow these procedures will lose their license.
  • Calls to the Federal government to adopt the “Americans First Law,” which would mandate that corporations that receive Federal bailout money return this money if they do not employ the same number of workers after receiving funds that they did before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mayoral Update

During the Mayor’s press conference, he announced,

  • Calls to the Federal government for more doses of Remdesivir, which is newly FDA-approved drug to treat severe COVID-cases.
  • New efforts to enforce social distancing that do not require police, including more civilian social distancing ambassadors, community partners increasing education and outreach, and increasing face-covering distribution in consultation with local organizations and elected officials.
  • Land use processes, once restarted, will require a new lens, focusing more on helping vulnerable people with affordable housing and other needs.
May 9, 2020
Governor’s Updates

During the Governor’s press conference, he announced,

  • The CDC asked NYS to create a nationwide criteria for detecting COVID-19 symptoms in children.
  • “Ready Responders”- a partnership between Northwell Health and 22 local churches to establish 22 new testing sites.