LL97 financial relief: City council in talks on practical updates

Board member education
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June 17, 2024
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LL97 financial relief: City council in talks on practical updates

Good news is on the horizon for many of New York City's co-ops and condos struggling to meet Local Law 97 compliance. A new bill, Intro 772, designed to provide much-needed financial relief, is gaining significant traction in the City Council. The bill offers a potential lifeline to many unit owners and shareholders who have been grappling with the law's stringent requirements.

How Local Law 97 has affected buildings

Local Law 97, effective since January 1st of this year, is one of NYC’s most ambitious initiatives to combat climate change. The law mandates strict caps on carbon emissions for buildings, aiming to significantly reduce the city’s overall emissions. Starting next year, non-compliant buildings will face hefty fines, with the emission caps becoming progressively stricter over time. You can read more on that here.

What is Intro 772?

Sponsored by Linda Lee (D-Queens), Intro 772 proposes several key adjustments to Local Law 97 to ease the financial burden on co-ops and condos. The bill has already garnered support from 25 City Council members, just one vote short of the majority needed to pass.

Main provisions proposed:

Including green spaces: Allows co-ops and condos to count gardens and other green spaces as part of their square footage when calculating carbon emission limits. This effectively increases allowable carbon emissions, reducing the need for costly retrofits.

Exemptions and reduced fines: Buildings with an average per-unit assessed value of $65,000 or less would be exempt from fines between 2030 and 2035. Fines would be halved from 2036 to 2040 and reduced to 25% from 2041 through 2045.

Incentives for carbon reduction: The Department of Buildings (DOB) would be required to consider adjusting emission limits for buildings that have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint, like converting from oil to gas or installing solar panels.

Why 772 helps New Yorkers and the climate

For some condos and co-ops to become compliant means multi-million dollar upgrades that could cost unit owners tens of thousands of dollars. In comparison, the annual fine is only $1,000. For some, the current law actually incentivizes towards paying the fine as opposed to positive action. This proposal makes compliance more accessible and interestingly promotes the creation of green spaces, which inherently reduce emissions and ease the financial burden on buildings.

The future of Local Law 97

Many see Local Law 97 as an ambitious law, that while with good intentions, doesn’t account for the challenges of execution. In an attempt to strike a compromise between financial realities and environmental ideals, Intro 772 introduces fresh ideas that could potentially make Local Law 97 more feasible. It offers much-needed relief, but it also raises questions about how to keep the law working. Back in January the city took steps to make Local Law 97 easier to understand and more realistic. There will be more updates on 772 soon - and probably more adjustments in the future. Subscribe to Daisy’s digest to stay in the know and on your path to compliance and a greener planet.

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