COVID-19 Update: Agency Reactions to COVID-19

Dear Clients,

As we all navigate through these trying times, we find that government is faced to large degree with problems similar to our own. We at Rosenberg & Estis P.C. have chosen to work remotely to protect the health of our employees and be responsible citizens, while continuing to be readily available to respond to our clients' needs. A number of agencies with which we communicate on a daily basis on behalf of our clients have changed their policies and procedures, at least temporarily, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect their employees and the public. These changes will affect your business and the manner in which we can best represent you. Many of you have already contacted us seeking guidance and information. Therefore, we think it important to bring to your attention a few of the agencies and their affected policies and procedures.

NYC Department of Small Business Services (DSBS) Update /

Affects ICAP Projects and Other Projects Subject to DSBS Jurisdiction:

Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the City, State and Federal state of emergency in NYC (State of Emergency), effective immediately DSBS will be operating remotely. All correspondence and construction and supply and services employment reports should be submitted electronically along with the supporting documentation. Pre-award conferences will be conducted as telephone calls (not in-person meetings). All new conditional approvals will be valid for six months. Until further notice, due to DSBS' closure, please retain all certified payroll records.

If you are currently working with a DSBS consultant, please be sure to discuss this with them at your earliest convenience. If you or your GC or CM are handling DSBS compliance directly, please be aware of these changes and know that you can raise any questions with your DSBS project manager. Please do not hesitate to contact Daniel M. Bernstein at [email protected] if you have any questions about ICAP issues at DSBS.

NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) Update /

Affects Properties Receiving Section 8 Subsidies and other Programs Administered by HPD:

Due to the State of Emergency HPD's 100 Gold Street, NY, NY client services center is closed from March 16th until at least March 30th. HPD is suspending subsidy terminations until further notice, is suspending non-emergency Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspections and is providing information to tenants experiencing a loss of income. If you are an owner or operator of a multifamily property that is receiving subsidies and have questions about subsidy issues, you may want to reach out to HPD or to your Rosenberg & Estis P.C. attorney for assistance. For additional information please see the Notice on HPD's website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/services-and-information/section-8.page

NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) Update:

On March 18, 2020, DHCR issued Advisory Opinion 2020-1 to provide COVID-19 Guidance. In response to the Governor's directive to make every effort to keep New Yorkers safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the Office of Rent Administration and the Tenant Protection Unit are taking certain steps to limit public gatherings and unnecessary office visits. According to the Advisory all matters that were not final as of Friday March 13 are extended "for the purposes of filing submissions" by thirty (30) days. However, certain types of proceedings and those involving certain services or conditions directly affecting tenants are specifically excepted from the extension. If you have received any DHCR Notice, from the ORA or the TPU, you may want to discuss with us whether the extension applies to your case or how best to respond to the Notice where the Advisory leaves room for interpretation about whether the extension applies.

The Advisory is clear, however, that in person hearings and conferences are postponed pending further notice and that requests for documents may be filed online, but not in person. It is likely that this will result in delays in obtaining certain records which could previously have been obtained in person at a DHCR office. The complete Advisory Opinion is available at the following link. https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/advisory-op-2020-1-final-version.pdf

NYC Tax Commission:

The NYC Tax Commission's Supplemental Application filing deadline is still Tuesday, March 24th. They did not extend the deadline, but they will allow your representative to upload PDF scans instead of original forms. TC150 forms must still be signed and notarized. Original forms must be brought to the Tax Commission hearings later this year.

We will continue to monitor the changes made at these agencies and others as they react to the latest conditions. Please reach out to us for the latest information and with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C.