City of Buffalo Releases Affordable Housing Report

This week, the City of Buffalo released its highly anticipated Housing Opportunities Strategy.  This project, initiated in early 2016 by nationally-renown urban revitalization consultants, czb LLC, is a comprehensive review of the City’s housing market with an eye towards conditions impacting housing access for citizens and promoting affordability within its product.  The goal of the report is to accurately define the challenges of housing access and advocate for effective strategies to address those challenges.

A Federal Fix to NY’s Broken Scaffold Law

New York State leaders have lacked the political will to fix our state’s broken Scaffold Law for decades.  Now a United States Congressman is giving it a try.  Rep. John Faso of the Hudson Valley has introduced federal legislation creating a workaround to New York’s burdensome, job killing mandate.  The Infrastructure Expansion Act would exempt any construction project in New York State subsidized with federal funds from the state’s current Scaffold Law which mandates absolute liability on building owners and contractors.

NYS Legislative Sessions Ends with Little Legislating

The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended with little legislating, and that is not a bad thing for Buffalo Niagara employers.  Compared to the busy and extended budget negotiations earlier this year, the end of session seemed sedate (As I write this, Governor Cuomo has called the Legislature back to Albany to address a few outstanding issues, chief among them mayoral control of New York City schools).  Here are the highlights:

ECIDA’s Adaptive Reuse Program is Critical to WNY’s Revitalization

More than 1,800 permanent new jobs have been produced and greater than 4 million square feet of vacant derelict properties in the City of Buffalo has been redeveloped and revitalized as a result of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s (ECIDA) Adaptive Reuse program.  Simply put, this program is one of the most impactful and efficient economic development tools available to employers in Western New York.

Federal Government Already Protecting Broadband Consumer Data

New legislation is circulating in Albany (S.5603/A.7191) that would establish unnecessary consent requirements on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) related to information they receive from their subscribers.  We believe this is an overreaction to recent congressional action, which repealed a federal law that never went into effect. It also misleads the public into believing there are currently no safeguards to protect consumers.