Local Law 97 Guidance for Affordable Housing

Local Law 97 & Affordable Housing

New York City’s one million buildings account for nearly two-thirds of the city’s carbon emissions. The Climate Mobilization Act of 2019 included Local Law 97 (LL97), which sets increasingly stringent caps on greenhouse gas emissions from most buildings over 25,000 SF starting in 2024. While buildings that contain affordable and rent-regulated housing are treated somewhat differently, the first compliance report for many of these buildings is due in 2025.

In December 2022, DOB released  a package of proposed rules to provide clarity for owners. In December 2023, DOB released a second package of rules, which promote compliance rather than penalties.The DOB also released the helpful Article 321 Filing Guide, which provides clarification on Article 321 reporting, best practices for implementing the PECMs, and information about penalty amounts. In addition, it outlines penalty mitigation options – including a mediated resolution option that gives buildings additional time to comply with either provision of Article 321.

Click here for FAQs about Local Law 97 and Affordable housing

Article 321 Penalties & Rules:

In September 2023, DOB released a new package of proposed rules for LL97, including penalty amounts for Article 321. The rules promote compliance rather than penalties and may
allow owners of buildings subject to Article 321 additional time to comply with either Article 321 compliance requirement - as long as they can demonstrate progress.

Note that penalties may be imposed annually, at the Department’s discretion, until Article 321 compliance is demonstrated.

  • Unexpected or Unforeseeable Event: For buildings damaged as a result of a disaster, including but not limited to a hurricane, severe flooding or fire.
  • Eligible Energy Conservation Project: Certain buildings may be eligible for a mitigated penalty if the building received funding from a Housing Agency as of November 15, 2019, to complete an “eligible Energy Conservation Project”
  • Mediated Resolution: The Department may offer a mediated resolution if the owner submits, by May 2025, (1) an attestation that the building is not in compliance, (2) the previous year’s benchmarking AND (3) a “Compliance Plan” that either details how a building will meet 2030 carbon limits by 2030 or demonstrates that work is underway to implement the applicable Prescriptive Measures and a date by which the remaining work will be complete

Stay tuned, the DOB will issue further guidance regarding mitigated penalties

Buildings with 2024 deadlines must Act Now!

2024 is approaching quickly. Building owners subject to the 2024 deadlines need to act now to start on a path to compliance. Buildings who fail to submit a report by May 01, 2025 to the DOB will face penalties. Here is where to start:

  1. Confirm your building is subject to LL97 and identify which compliance requirement applies. Click here for the DOB’s Covered Buildings List (CBL): https://www.nyc.gov/site/buildings/codes/sustainability.page
  2. Visit the DOB’s Covered Buildings List FAQ
  3. Determine your building's current greenhouse gas emissions. Your building may already be in compliance. You can determine these limits by looking up your building’s Local Law 84 Benchmarking via your Portfolio Manager account or Look Up Your Building: Building Energy Snapshot | NYC Accelerator
  4. If your building does not currently meet the applicable emissions limits, contact the NYC Accelerator right away! The NYC Accelerator can help building owners determine their compliance requirements, create a compliance plan and help owners leverage all available financial incentives and resources. 
  5. Assemble your team. It can take a significant amount of time to assemble a team to implement your scope. NYC Accelerator can direct owners to the right providers.
  6. Bid out the project and begin implementing your project.
  7. File your LL97 report with the Department of Buildings (DOB).
  8. Reap the benefits of a more efficient and more comfortable building! 

Free Technical Assistance with NYC Accelerator

321 Go! (c15.io)  is a free program offered by HPD and NYSERDA to help HPD asset-managed properties determine the best path toward LL97 compliance, reduce energy costs, and capture incentives. See 321Go! in action here!  

NYC Accelerator is a city-backed program that can provide free technical assistance to building owners of affordable housing to understand LL97, develop an appropriate work scope, identify incentives and financing tools, and assemble a team to implement the work.

To connect with a dedicated affordable housing account manager contact (212) 656-9202 and/or info@accelerator.nyc

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