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Hinchey Bill Requiring Accurate Statistics on Vacancies Signed Into Law

KINGSTON – Senator Michelle Hinchey’s bill requiring property owners to submit accurate vacancy rate surveys to help municipalities address the housing crisis was signed into law by the governor.

The measure specifies that property owners must provide the latest rent and rolls, and, if possible, records from the past three years upon municipal request and within a timeframe designated by the community.

Noncompliance could lead to a civil penalty of up to $500, and a nonresponding owner will be presumed to have a zero percent vacancy rate.

Hinchey, a Democrat, said her bill “was needed to close a loophole that allowed property owners to evade vacancy rate surveys, and now, the law is clear – property owners must provide accurate data when a municipality requests a survey.”Kingston Mayor Steven Noble said when they conduct their next vacancy study, “this bill will go a long way in helping us to get an accurate account of the current housing situation.”

Lukee Forbes, civil rights coordinator for the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition called the legislation “pivotal (and) represents a major stride in our longstanding battle against the housing crisis, addressing the acute shortage of affordable housing that plagues our communities.”

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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