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Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation Promoting Sustainability and Construction of Affordable Housing

January 8, 2018

NEW YORK— Today Mayor Bill de Blasio signed seven pieces of legislation into law aimed at making New York City greener and creating even more affordable housing. Intro. 54-A requires DOT to study the feasibility of using alternative fuels for the City’s ferries, Intro. 880-A requires a review of the use of biodiesel for school buses, Intro. 1465-A expedites the phasing out of higher grade oil in city power plants, Intro. 1629-A requires periodic recommendations on energy efficiency requirements for certain buildings, and Intro. 1632-A relates to energy efficiency scores, Intro. 1036-A relates to a census on vacant properties, Intro.1039-A requires HPD to provide an aggregate annual report on vacant sites under its jurisdiction.

“New Yorkers deserve to live in a city dedicated to sustainability and affordability for all,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today’s legislation re-affirms our commitment to a greener New York and, by shining a light on vacant land in our city, will help us meet our ambitious goal of building 300,000 affordable homes – enough to house the entire population of Boston. I want to thank the Council for bringing this legislation into fruition.”

“Our City has been a leader in green energy, and energy efficiency and sustainability will be of great importance as we continue to tackle the environmental issues of the twenty-first century. Today’s legislation is just one example of our dedication to making a greener New York a reality,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “I thank Mayor De Blasio for his partnership in creating a more sustainable city, and the New York City Council is committed to ensuring that our city continues to set an example by leading in clean, efficient, and affordable energy.”

“Under Housing New York, we are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to produce affordable housing at unprecedented levels," said NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “As HPD continues to move aggressively through its dwindling inventory of vacant land, developing thousands of affordable homes, and issuing a record number of RFPs, this new legislation reflects our commitment to greater reporting and transparency. I want to thank Council Members Rodriguez and Williams and the many agencies and advocacy groups who partnered with us to find new ways to help unlock more opportunities to develop vacant and underutilized land.”

"For several years, DCAS has been leading efforts to transition the city truck fleet to biodiesel" said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo. "DCAS looks forward to partnering with DOE, bus operators and fuel suppliers on ways to make the same changes with school busses."

“The work to create a sustainable and fair city requires us to reconsider and reimagine the ways in which we use energy – especially from our city’s one million buildings,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Today’s bill signing illustrates how we are working together to creatively solve for one of the most complex challenges of our time so we can continue to deliver for our city and our planet.”

“With the absence of federal climate leadership, New York City stepped up and committed to doing its part to fulfill America’s pledge to the Paris Agreement,” said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. “Today’s bill signing represents another step in our efforts to accelerate New York City’s climate actions and increase our ambitions to achieve the Paris Agreement. Phasing out the dirtiest fuel oils from the city’s power plants will reduce emissions and improve air quality, and new energy standards will continue to raise the bar for energy efficiency in the city’s buildings, our greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to the City Council for their partnership in making these laws a reality.”

“Making the city more affordable takes all the tools of government and strong collaboration between agencies” said Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, Emily W. Newman. “The Mayor’s Office of Operations is thrilled to be a key part of this powerful initiative to increase affordable housing citywide.”

“In an effort to further protect our environment and our City, this law will ensure that dirty oil will no longer be used by power plants when generating energy. It extends the elimination of no.4 oil use that has detrimental effects on the environment and public health. I thank Councilman Constantinides and the Mayor for their partnership on this legislation,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

"For the first time in its history, New York City will be empowered to conduct a  census of vacant property," said Council Member Jumaane Williams. "The affordable housing and homelessness crisis we face presents an incredibly complex problem, and enacting this legislation provides us with an essential tools toward creating solutions. As someone who participated in the count that took place on the ground over a decade ago, I know how important this tool will be. Finally, we'll be able to understand the extent of property warehousing throughout the five boroughs, and craft real policy solutions that create housing for all New Yorkers, especially those who are currently without homes. To reach the housing goals that this administration has newly set, these actions are essential, and I thank the Mayor for taking action on this legislation. I further thank Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez for recognizing the urgency of this issue, and all of those who have worked tirelessly toward making this new tool a reality."

Council Member Costa Constantinides said, "Over the past four years, our city has made environmental protection a priority - whether through ending reliance on fossil fuels, cleaning our air quality, building sustainable habits, or encouraging use of renewable energy.  Intro 1465 will help reduce greenhouse emissions including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides through cleaner power generation.  Ending use of dirty fuel oils in power plants will reduce emissions, bring benefits to our public health, and lower risk of asthma.  Intro 1629 will also improve our environment by adopting more stringent energy efficiency guidelines for large buildings.  Intro 54 will help increase use of renewable fuel in one of our city's most sustainable transit options - our ferries. As use of our citywide ferry system has grown exponentially, we must innovate the type of energy we use to fuel the boats.  Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and my Council colleagues for their support of these important bills that will make our city greener and more sustainable."

“Intro 880 sets us on a path toward more efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation for our school children. By mandating a Department of Education study on the air quality impacts of switching school bus fuel from diesel to biodiesel, we are taking another step  toward protecting our environment and public health. I'm grateful for the work of advocates, Committee counsel and my colleagues, which made this day possible.” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

“Today marks a turning point in the fight for housing for homeless folks,” said PTH Executive Director Monique “Mo” George. “This is the first step toward holding landlords accountable, especially in areas of heavy gentrification. To me, there’s nothing more powerful than the people who walk into our office to fight for justice, and then go out to sleep on the sidewalk or in the shelters. Nobody understands what it means to be an activist and then go out and sleep in the freezing cold, and still come back day after day. That’s strength beyond measure. That’s what passed these bills.” 

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