Local Law 1 2018 (effective as of September 28, 2018) establishes a three-year pilot program which requires owners of certain buildings to obtain a Certification of No Harassment (CONH) prior to acquiring permits from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) for work involving demolition or change in use/occupancy. As set forth in the law, buildings with high levels of physical distress or ownership changes in certain targeted areas of the City will be placed on a building list. Also included on the list will be buildings that are the subject of a full vacate order, have been active participants in the alternative enforcement program for more than four months since February 1, 2016 and buildings in which there has been a finding of harassment within the last five years by a court or by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
Property owners of buildings on the list will be required to receive a CONH from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) before DOB can approve new construction applications for an initial or reinstated permit to perform certain covered categories of work. Two versions of the Certificate of No Harassment (CONH) program have been in place in Hell’s Kitchen since 1974 and for Single-Room Occupancy buildings (SROs) citywide, but the program was significantly expanded thanks to the City Council’s 2017 CONH legislation.