The Real Estate Board of New York to The Committee on Housing and Buildings on Intro 2261-2021

Alexander Shapanka

Assistant Vice President of Policy

June 13, 2021

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New Yorkers are able to live, work, and thrive throughout the five boroughs because of the careful regulation of the city’s buildings. The standards set by the Building, Fuel, Gas, Mechanical, and Plumbing Codes ensure that our built environment is safe, healthy, and able to grow. Like New York’s buildings, the Codes are not static. It is essential to review and update them as needed to better protect the city’s tenants and residents as well as to improve the regulatory processes required in developing and maintaining our buildings.

Intro 2261 seeks to improve building construction standards for new buildings and resolves issues relating to the application of some provisions of the new codes to the alteration of existing buildings. This bill is the result of a multi-year revision process led by the Department of Buildings (DOB) that extensively involved industry stakeholders including REBNY. We share in the DOB’s goal of improving public safety and thank it for its partnership and willingness to find appropriate compromise in instances where proposals were in conflict with the operational and physical limitations for the industry.

This sort of long-term engagement with different subject matter experts to work through far-reaching and technical regulations is the archetype of good governance. As the City continues its work to improve life for New Yorkers, it should follow DOB’s approach by being inclusive, measured and addressing issues holistically rather than through disjointed acts and legislation.

REBNY looks forward to our continued work with the DOB as the changes are finalized and working through the subsequent rulemakings and implementation.