NY State Legislators Introduce Legislation to Protect SoHo/NoHo Residents

May 10, 2022

Originally published in JDSUPRA on May 10, 2022.

New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh and New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick have each introduced state legislation to amend the New York Multiple Dwelling Law in relation to joint live-work quarters for artists (JLWQA) in the SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods in Manhattan. If approved, S.8793 / A.9675 would permit residents who lived in JLWQA units prior to December 31, 2021, to continue occupying such units regardless of their status as a certified artist.

The legislation was introduced in response to the SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood Rezoning Plan. The New York City Council approved the rezoning plan on December 21, 2021, but on January 14, 2022, newly sworn-in Mayor Eric Adams vetoed a proposed local law that called for an aggressive increase in fines for non-certified artists occupying JLWQA units while leaving the rest of the rezoning and related actions intact. Currently, the Department of Buildings can issue fines and even, in certain circumstances, order a non-certified artist to vacate a JLWQA unit. The proposed state legislation would protect residents from this enforcement.