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SECTION 31
Rentals and selection of tenants
Private Housing Finance (PVH) CHAPTER 44-B, ARTICLE 2
§ 31. Rentals and selection of tenants. 1. (a) A company may, with the
approval of the commissioner or the supervising agency, as the case may
be, fix maximum rentals per room to be charged tenants of the dwellings,
the average of the rentals for the dwellings in any project not to
exceed the maximum average rentals determined by the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, before any commitments are made
by the company for the construction of the project. The commissioner or
the supervising agency, upon his or its own motion, or upon application
by the company or of a stockholder, lienholder, a creditor, or of
holders of at least ten per centum of the bonds of the company, or by
the federal government where the mortgage loan of the company is insured
or held by the federal government, may vary such rental rate from time
to time so as to secure, together with all other income of the company,
sufficient income for it to meet within reasonable limits all necessary
payments to be made or projected to be made during the term of a lease
by the said company, of all expenses including fixed charges, sinking
funds, reserves and dividends on outstanding stock as authorized by the
commissioner or the supervising agency, as the case may be. Letting,
subletting or assignment of leases of apartments at greater rentals than
those approved by the commissioner or the supervising agency shall be
unlawful. Where the mortgage loan of a company is insured or held by the
federal government or where a project is owned by the federal
government, rental rates shall be varied without regard to the
provisions of any general, special or local law which would otherwise
limit or control such rental rates or the determination or variation
thereof for so long as such mortgage loan remains outstanding or the
project financed by such a mortgage loan is owned by the federal
government. No variation of a rental rate in a project financed by a
mortgage loan insured or held by, or owned by the federal government
shall be effective unless approved by the federal government.

(b) Unless any applicable regulation of or regulatory agreement with
the federal government shall otherwise provide, (i) the tenants in a
project financed by a mortgage loan insured or held by the federal
government shall be entitled and may elect to enter in a lease for a
term of up to three years at such rental rates as may be established by
the commissioner or the supervising agency, as the case may be, pursuant
to paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this section, (ii) the rental
rates to be charged under any such lease shall be established after
consideration of the term of such lease and may differ from the rental
rates to be charged under any other lease of a different term and (iii)
the commissioner or the supervising agency, as the case may be, shall in
establishing such rental rates consider the obligations of the company
under any instruments evidencing or securing any residual indebtedness.
Such leases shall contain a provision authorizing the variation of the
rental rates during the term of such leases upon an application made by
the federal government pursuant to paragraph (a) of subdivision one of
this section.

* (c) A company may, with the approval of the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, fix maximum charges to be paid
by each occupant for the non-housekeeping accommodations, aged care
accommodations or non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped
persons, which charges may include payment for board and such other
services as may be provided as an incident to occupancy, the average of
such charges for all the non-housekeeping accommodations, aged care
accommodations or non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped
persons in any project not to exceed the maximum average charges for all
such non-housekeeping accommodations, aged care accommodations or
non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped persons determined by
the commissioner or the supervising agency as the case may be, before
any commitments are made by the company for the construction of the
project. The commissioner or the supervising agency upon his or its own
motion, or upon application by the company or of a stockholder, lien
holder, a creditor or of holders of at least ten (10%) per centum of the
bonds of the company, may vary such charges from time to time so as to
secure, together with all other income of the company, sufficient income
for it to meet within reasonable limits all necessary payments to be
made by said company, of all expenses including fixed charges, sinking
funds, reserves and dividends on outstanding stock as authorized by the
commissioner or supervising agency as the case may be. It shall be
unlawful to make non-housekeeping accommodations, aged care
accommodations or non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped
persons available at greater charges than those approved by the
commissioner or the supervising agency.

* NB There are 2 (c)'s

* (c) Disclosure of bases. The commissioner, administrator or
supervising agency, as the case may be, shall make available for
inspection and copying by the residents in any affected development, all
items and data and recommendations utilized as the various bases for the
decision on increases in rental or carrying charges, upon notification
of the decision to the applicant of the action taken.

* NB There are 2 (c)'s

2. (a) The dwelling or non-housekeeping accommodations without board
in a company project shall be available for persons or families of low
income whose probable aggregate annual income at the time of admission
and during the period of occupancy does not exceed, the greater of (i)
the median income for such persons or families for the metropolitan
statistical area in which the project is located, or if a project is
located outside a metropolitan statistical area, the median income for
such persons or families for the county in which the project is located,
as most recently determined by the United States department of housing
and urban development, in which case any person or family becoming
eligible for admission pursuant to this subparagraph shall pay, from the
time of admission, a rental surcharge as provided for in subdivision
three of this section, computed on the basis of the income limitations
applicable to such persons or families in the absence of this
subparagraph, or (ii) eight times the rental, including the value or
cost to them of heat, light, water and cooking fuel, of the dwellings
that may be furnished to such persons or families, except that in the
case of families with three or more dependents, such ratio shall not
exceed nine to one. Persons or families with two or less dependents
eligible for admission or continued occupancy pursuant to subparagraph
(ii) of this paragraph or subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph prior to
the effective date of a chapter of the laws of two thousand nineteen
that amended subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, shall pay a rental
surcharge computed on the basis of an income limitation of seven times
the rental and families with three or more dependents eligible for
admission or continued occupancy pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph or subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph prior to the effective
date of a chapter of the laws of two thousand nineteen that amended
subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, shall pay a rental surcharge
computed on the basis of an income limitation of eight times the cost of
the rental, including in each instance the value or cost to the persons
or families of heat, light, water and cooking fuel, of the dwellings
furnished to such persons or families.

The "probable aggregate annual income" in the case of dwelling
accommodations means the annual income of the chief wage earner of the
family, plus all other income of other members of the family over the
age of twenty-one years, plus a proportion of income of gainfully
employed members under the age of twenty-one years, the proportion to be
determined by the company as approved by the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, excluding therefrom a deduction
of fifteen thousand dollars from the income of secondary wage earners of
the family or a larger deduction if approved by the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, except that the company, as
approved by the commissioner or the supervising agency, as the case may
be, may exclude a proportion of the income of other members of the
family over the age of twenty-one years for the purpose of determining
eligibility for admission or continued occupancy, or for establishing
the rental of such family, or for all such purposes; in the case of such
non-housekeeping accommodations it means the annual income of the
occupant, provided that the commissioner or supervising agency, as the
case may be, may make rules and regulations relative to the allocation
of the income of a family among the members thereof for the purpose of
determining the income attributable to such occupant.

(b) For the purpose of determining maximum income to establish
eligibility for admission or continued occupancy of, or the imposition
of surcharges upon, tenant-cooperators in a mutual company project, or
for all such purposes, there may be added to the total annual carrying
charges an amount equal to six per centum of the investment of a person
or family in the equity obligations of such housing company and, where
not included in the carrying charges payable to such company, the value
or cost to them of heat, light, water and cooking fuel and, to the
extent authorized by the commissioner or the supervising agency as the
case may be, the value or cost to them of repainting and replacement of
fixtures and appliances.

(c) The non-housekeeping accommodations with board in a company
project including non-housekeeping accommodations with board designed
for the occupancy of handicapped persons shall be available for persons
of low income whose probable aggregate annual income at the time of
admission and during the period of occupancy does not exceed four times
the annual charges to be paid by such persons and in the case of aged
care accommodations two times the annual charges to be paid by such
persons. The "probable aggregate annual income" means the annual income
of the person occupying such non-housekeeping accommodations, aged care
accommodations or non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped
persons, provided that the commissioner or supervising agency, as the
case may be, may make rules and regulations relating to the allocation
of the income of a family among the members thereof for the purpose of
determining the income attributable to such occupant.

(d) A company may, with the approval of the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, lease dwellings in a project to
an authority, at rentals fixed for such dwellings pursuant to the
provisions of subdivision one of this section less an appropriate
adjustment for the increased tax exemption, if any, attributable to such
dwellings pursuant to subdivision three of section thirty-three of this
chapter, for occupancy by persons and families of low income who are
eligible and pay rents therefor pursuant to the provisions of the public
housing law.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, families whose
probable aggregate annual income does not exceed one hundred twenty-five
percent of the limitations as to income as determined pursuant to
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision, shall also be eligible for
admission to the dwelling or non-housekeeping accommodations without
board of a project on the understanding that any family becoming
eligible for admission by reason hereof shall pay, from the time of
admission, a rental surcharge as provided for in subdivision three of
this section, computed on the basis of the income limitations applicable
to such family in the absence of this subdivision. In applying the
provisions of subdivision three of this section to a family becoming
eligible by reason of this section, the maximum income prescribed by law
for admission or occupancy shall for all purposes be computed without
reference to this paragraph.

2-a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner or
supervising agency shall authorize and make provision in rules and
regulations for an immediate downward adjustment in surcharge upon a
showing of substantial decrease in income caused by events including,
but not limited to death, disability or illness.

3. In the event that the income of a person or family in occupancy
should increase and exceed the maximum prescribed by law for admission
or for continued occupancy, based on the latest existing rent, by more
than twenty-five per centum, such person or family shall be subject to
removal from the dwelling, non-housekeeping, aged care accommodations or
non-housekeeping accommodations for handicapped persons provided,
however, that such person or family may be permitted to remain in
occupancy until such income exceeds the maximum prescribed by law by
more than fifty per centum, if the company, with the approval of the
commissioner or the supervising agency, shall determine that removal
would cause hardship to such person or family. Any person or family in
occupancy whose income exceeds the maximum prescribed by law shall pay a
rental surcharge in accordance with a schedule of surcharges to be
promulgated by the company with the approval of the commissioner or the
supervising agency, as the case may be, provided, however, such rental
surcharge shall in no event exceed fifty per centum of the existing
rent.

4. Twenty-five per cent of rental surcharges collected pursuant to
this section on account of rentals payable prior to July first, nineteen
hundred eighty-one shall be paid by the company to the municipality
which has granted tax exemption pursuant to section thirty-three of this
article as a credit against the grant of tax exemption, the value of
such tax exemption and of such credit to be determined on an individual
dwelling, non-housekeeping, aged care accommodation or non-housekeeping
accommodations for handicapped persons unit basis. In the event that
such tax exemption has not been granted, or in the event that a sum
equal to the total of all accrued taxes as to individual dwelling,
non-housekeeping, aged care accommodation or non-housekeeping
accommodations for handicapped persons units where such tax exemption
was granted have been paid to the municipality, the excess if any, of
surcharges and all surcharges imposed after June thirtieth, nineteen
hundred eighty-one shall be applied to the expenses of operation and
management as approved by the commissioner or the supervising agency.

5. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or of any other
general, special or local law, persons or families living in a project
under a lease for ninety-nine years renewable, or in perpetuity, or by
reason of ownership of stock in such company may, with the approval of
the commissioner or of the supervising agency, as the case may be, be
permitted to remain in occupancy for not more than three years after
such increase in income exceeds the maximum prescribed by law by more
than fifty per centum unless such occupancy is extended with the
approval of the commissioner or of the supervising agency, as the case
may be. Any such occupant required to remove from the project because of
excessive income as herein provided shall be discharged from liability
on any note, bond or other evidence of indebtedness relating thereto and
shall be reimbursed for all sums paid by such occupant to the company on
account of the purchase of stock or income debentures as a condition of
such occupancy.

6. Preference in admission to a project shall be given to families
displaced by a limited-profit housing project.

7. Preference in admission to a project with an open waiting list, as
determined by the commissioner or the supervising agency, shall be given
by a mutual company or an urban rental company or by the New York state
housing finance agency when subleasing dwellings in projects of such
companies pursuant to section forty-four-a of this chapter, to persons
or surviving spouses of persons who are veterans as such term is defined
pursuant to section eighty-five of the civil service law. For projects
with a closed list, as determined by the commissioner or the supervising
agency, such preference shall be given upon the opening of the waiting
list. Notwithstanding the foregoing, persons who are residing in a
limited-profit housing project shall be given first priority for an
internal transfer in the project in which they are residing in
accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner or
the supervising agency.

7-b. Preference in admission to projects located in a city with a
population of one hundred thousand or more shall be given to members of
a police force of such city, provided such members otherwise qualify for
admission and provided, further, that such city has adopted a local law
authorizing such program.

8. Preference in admission to any project or to such portion of any
project which has been specifically designed for occupancy by aged or
handicapped persons, as the case may be, shall be given to such persons.

8-a. A company may rent one or more dwelling units to a social
services official or duly authorized agency, as defined in section three
hundred seventy-one of the social services law, for the operation of
agency boarding homes or group homes or to any public agency as defined
in section four hundred sixty-one of the general municipal law which
provides residences and social services to dependent aged persons.

9. (a) For the purpose of enabling lower income elderly persons to
continue in occupancy without paying rentals in excess of a fair
proportion of their income, any municipality having a population of less
than one million is authorized to make and to contract to make periodic
payments to a company in an amount not exceeding the difference between
the rent or carrying charges for the dwellings occupied by such lower
income persons and one-third of their net probable aggregate annual
income, where such rent or carrying charges exceed such one-third of
income; provided that the aggregate amount of periodic payments to be
made in accordance with contracts entered into by the municipality
during any fiscal year thereof pursuant to this subdivision, subdivision
seven of section eighty-five-a, section one hundred twenty-six and
section five hundred seventy-seven-a of this chapter shall not exceed
the aggregate amount of all real property taxes paid or payable during
such fiscal year by all companies organized pursuant to this article,
article IV, article V, and article XI of this chapter and the aggregate
estimated receipts of all such companies in such fiscal year from rental
surcharges collected or to be collected pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Such payments shall be made only on account of a person or family
in occupancy where the head of the household is sixty-two years of age
or older and is not a recipient of public assistance pursuant to the
social services law, and where the net probable aggregate annual income
of the person or family in occupancy does not exceed six thousand five
hundred dollars a year. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision
twenty-nine of section two of this chapter, net probable aggregate
annual income as used in this subdivision shall mean annual income of
family members from all sources after deduction of federal, state and
city income taxes; provided that any municipality may provide that
increases in benefits under the social security act which take effect
after such person or family has assumed occupancy shall not be taken
into account.

(c) A company having a contract with the municipality pursuant to this
subdivision may not collect from persons or families in occupancy on
whose account such payments are made any rentals in excess of the
amounts specified in such contract.

10. A housing company shall accept federal reimbursement under section
eight of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in lieu of
such amount in rent payment for a person qualifying under such act and
residing in a project of such company. A housing company shall not
reject an applicant for an apartment solely on the basis that all or
part of the rent shall be paid under section eight of the Housing and
Community Development Act of 1974.

11. Every company subject to the provisions of this article shall on a
form prescribed by the commissioner or supervising agency annually
certify to such commissioner or supervising agency that all necessary
steps are being undertaken to ensure that all surcharges due pursuant to
this section are being properly billed, collected and remitted.

12. All municipally-aided projects shall post the first and last names
of all persons on each waiting list maintained by such project, in
chronological order, by such project's management office, or, if there
is no management office on the site of such municipally-aided project,
in such project's lobby.

13. The commissioner or supervising agency shall develop a written
procedure with regard to how applications for admission to a company are
processed and numbered, and how tenants are selected. Such procedure
shall be implemented and followed by all limited-profit housing
companies subject to the provisions of this article; provided, however,
that any limited-profit housing company may elect additional procedures
so long as such procedures are not inconsistent with the procedures
developed by the commissioner or supervising agency and any other
requirements set forth in this article.

14. The commissioner or supervising agency shall develop a procedure
whereby applicants are notified in the case that their application is
rejected by a limited-profit housing company subject to the provisions
of this article, and such procedure shall also include the appeal's
process available to the rejected applicant. The notification that shall
be sent to the applicant shall be in written form, include reasons why
the applicant was rejected, the appeal's process, and be sent to the
applicant within sixty days after the limited-profit housing company
decided to reject such applicant. Any limited-profit housing company may
elect additional procedures so long as such procedures are not
inconsistent with the procedures developed by the commissioner or
supervising agency and any other requirements set forth in this article.
For purposes of this subdivision, an applicant shall not be deemed
rejected if their application is still active on the limited-profit
housing company's waiting list and such waiting list is still open and
accepting applications.

15. The commissioner or the supervising agency shall develop and
require the use of a publicly available electronic automated system for
limited-profit housing companies to store, process, and maintain
applications and waiting lists. Waiting lists maintained by each such
company shall use a method that protects any personally identifiable
information of applicants from being publicly disclosed or accessible to
the public. Such electronic automated system shall also include general
information about each company, including, but not limited to: the name
and address of the company; the management office and address; the
number and size of all units in each building; and information on the
status of each waiting list, including whether the limited-profit
housing company is currently accepting applications and how long
applicants may have to wait.