Real Estate Board of New York
History and overview
The board was formed in 1896 to "facilitate transactions in real estate, such as buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging, and insuring of property and other business pertaining thereto. Among the current board members are the president John Banks, Fredrik Eklund and Daniel Brodsky.
Today, REBNY works to promote industry-backed policies. Its members frequently speak before government bodies to, among other things, expand New York's economy, encourage the development and renovation of commercial and residential real[clarification needed] property, increase the city's appeal to a specific class of investors and residents, and facilitate property management for this same class. To help members hone their professional skills, the group conducts education programs, including state-certified required courses for licensing, continuing education courses, and free seminars. The group also performs research on residential and commercial conditions within the city.
In early 2015, the association represented the landlords of unsafe buildings in Councilmember Margaret Chin's downtown district and pushed back when approached about having to pay to move tenants while the buildings were being fixed. REBNY president Steve Spinola said, "This legislation would better protect tenants by strengthening the existing (Department of Housing Preservation and Development) program to relocate tenants instead of cutting into funds used for building repairs and maintenance."
The group also backs political candidates deemed friendly to real estate companies. For the 2013 political races in Brooklyn, they created the Jobs for New York PAC, a pro-development political action committee to support controversial Brooklyn councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and other candidates. The PAC gave Cumbo at least $80,000 through August 2013, an unpopular move with residents in a rapidly gentrifying area. (In an AARP-sponsored discussion a week later, Cumbo claimed that she received no money from it.)
REBNY also started "Putting New Yorkers to Work, Inc.", a lobbying group that funds ads by groups like Affordable Housing and Local Jobs Now to counter union groups pushing for wage requirements for the building of new affordable housing.
- Real Estate Board of New York: "Daniel Brodsky - The Brodsky Organization" retrieved February 7, 2018
- Tcholakian, Danielle (Jan 21, 2015). "Bill Would Force Landlords to Pay for Displaced Tenants' Temporary Shelter". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on 2015-03-22.
- "Laurie Cumbo Says 'Knockout' Attacks In Brooklyn Caused By Resentment Of Jewish Success". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "NYC councilwoman's talk of black-Jewish resentment, 'knockouts' called racist". NY Daily News. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Upadhye, Janet (August 27, 2013). "Pro-Development PAC Donation Causes Bad Blood in 35th District Race". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013.
- Goldstein, Sasha (September 6, 2013). "Brooklyn: Attacks continue at last-minute debate for hotly contested District 35 City Council race". NY Daily News.
- "Real estate and unions run combatting ads over tax break". Capital New York. May 26, 2015.