Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District Manhattan, announced today the Assembly passage of legislation A.9675. This bill will ensure that residents living in a Joint Live-Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA) may continue to live in their homes, regardless of their status as a certified artist.
JLWQA units are lofts that have historically been intended for artists certified by the City to be used as live-work space. These spaces were integral in the cultivation of SoHo and NoHo’s unique artistic character. Over time, JLWQA units began to be inhabited by residents that lacked the required certification from the Department of Cultural Affairs for a number of reasons, most notably the overly strict application process that is no longer reflective of the arts over time. Following closely to the misguided rezoning of SoHo and NoHo in December 2021 in which noncompliant residents were told they would have to pay an exorbitant fine to rezone their home, a bill was passed by the City Council to exponentially increase penalties on non-certified JLWQA residents. Although this bill was thankfully vetoed, the need to protect current community members from onerous fines was made clear. This bill protects individuals who resided in a JLWQA unit as of December 15, 2021 from being penalized for not being certified as an artist.
Senator Kavanagh’s companion legislation S.8793 awaits Senate passage.
Assemblymember Glick said, “Longstanding SoHo and NoHo community members should not have to continuously worry about punitive fines or their security in their lofts due to an outdated artist certification process, or the zoning area where JLWQA status was enshrined in the zoning text. This bill carefully balances the need to protect our neighbors in their homes with the desire to maintain the artistic heritage of our neighborhood. This is an important first step, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council to continue to undo the harm done to SoHo and NoHo by the recent rezoning.”
Senator Kavanagh said, “I am pleased that Assemblymember Deborah Glick and her colleagues in the Assembly have passed our legislation, bringing it one step closer to becoming law and giving residents of our community much needed housing stability. I thank Assemblymember Glick for championing this bill in the Assembly and the Coalition for Fairness in SoHo and NoHo for their strong advocacy. I will continue to work with my colleagues to enact this important legislation before the legislature adjourns.”
Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair, Jeannine Kiely said, “Manhattan Community Board 2 greatly appreciates and applauds the passage of A.9675. We thank Assemblymember Glick for listening to the community and taking action to protect our neighborhood residents and families. This legislation will protect seniors and artists who did not go through the onerous and sometimes seemingly arbitrary certification.”
Manhattan Community Board 2, Land Use Committee Chair, Frederica Sigel said, “I am delighted with what Assemblymember Glick calls this 'important first step' to modify some of the rushed and unproductive aspects of the recent SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown Rezoning, and I look forward to the City Council taking further actions that support residents. Thank you to the Assemblymember for leading the way.”