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We’re all in this together, REBNY tells new President

Real Estate Board of New York welcomed President Joe Biden to office today and congratulated Senator Chuck Schumer’s elevation to Majority Leader.

“We welcome President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at this critical moment for our nation and we are confident their strong leadership will help make that brighter future possible,” said REBNY president James Whelan.

JAMES WHELAN

“Senator Chuck Schumer’s well-deserved elevation to Majority Leader will serve to help to expedite this crucial effort to address the needs of millions of New Yorkers.”

Whelan said the board was encouraged by the Biden-Harris administration’s plans to tackle the COVID pandemic and for advancing an additional federal stimulus package as quickly as possible.

“New York and our entire nation continue to face enormous challenges. Yet, with commitment, collaboration, and a unified spirit, we will continue forward on the road to recovery and ensure a brighter future,” said Whelan.

REBNY has called on the federal government to include comprehensive rent subsidies along with unemployment support and additional state and local aid in its next stimulus package and urged City and State officials to advance policies that will create more of jobs and housing .

Echoing the sentiments of unity that President Biden expressed during his inauguration speech today, Whelan added, “New York will succeed if we all remember the importance of working together toward a common goal of progress for all.”

Meanwhile, the New York Building Congress set out its hopes in a Federal Infrastructure Memo calling on the Biden-Harris administration to invest in construction projects across the region.

“The Biden-Harris administration must act quickly and commit to providing federal support and funding to critical infrastructure projects in New York – leading to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, supporting manufacturing and strengthening the economy. Advancing these projects will send a clear message that by getting people back to work and reviving the local and state economies, we can begin to move past the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress.

CARLO SCISSURA

“Furthermore, with a comprehensive national infrastructure plan, we can fix our roads and bridges, build capacity in transportation systems, address the shortfalls in our water, energy and broadband systems and break ground on visionary construction projects across the country.”

Priorities from the report include the Gateway Program and Empire Station Complex, a project NYBC considers “the most important infrastructure project in the country.”

Building a new Hudson River Tunnel and north portal bridge would not only create tens of thousands of jobs but would improve reliability and increase capacity on a vital link to the nation’s economic heart.

The state has asked the federal government for $1.6 billion for Portal North Bridge; $11.1 billion for New Hudson River Tunnel; and $1.6 billion for rehabilitation of the existing tunnel.

Other priority projects included in the memo are the LaGuardia AirTrain and the rehabilitation of New York City Housing Authority stock.

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