You’ve heard the warnings from voices throughout the city, including on these pages: With the COVID pandemic having throttled entire industries and devastated incomes, millions of New Yorkers are way behind on their rents. When moratoriums lift and bills come due, expect to see a flurry of evictions.
As the dark clouds gather, there are many ways to put up umbrellas, including targeted federal aid and more intelligently designed local and state rent vouchers. But over the long run, New York will never be able to build the housing it needs if it can’t bring down the cost of construction in the five boroughs.
That rigid rule, the only one of its type in the country, adds an estimated 7% premium atop development costs at a time when we need all the reasonably priced housing we can get.
Which is why budget watchdogs and affordable housing advocates last week joined forces to urge Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to replace the strict liability standard with — duh — one that factors in the respective negligence of the property owner, contractor, employer and injured party when determining damages.
Tear down this law.