CITY SET TO LICENSE BUILDERS
By MICHAEL SCHOLL, NY POST
January 14, 2007 -- The Bloomberg administration and the City Council will soon enact legislation requiring the city's more than 600 home builders to get licenses before they erect any more homes here, The Post has learned.
Currently, most subcontractors, like plumbers and electricians, must be licensed. But general contractors who supervise home construction operate without licenses.
"It's sort of amazing that in the year 2007 New York City does not license home builders," said City Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-S.I.), the measure's prime sponsor.
The bill would authorize the police to seize the vehicles and tools belonging to any general contractor caught building a home without a license. It also calls for six months of prison time, a $5,000 fine and an additional $5,000 civil penalty.
Builders must prove they are insured and financially solvent and must offer warranties for all work performed.
The license fee would be $200 for the first two years, then $100 every two years. The company would also have to provide information on anyone who owns at least 10 percent of the firm.
The Mayor's Office agreed to support the measure after Oddo removed a provision requiring background checks.
Bloomberg must know that if background checks were mandatory then there wouldn't be much building accomplished in the city.
This is our government pretending that they are taking care of a problem. They need to explain how licensing a contractor is going to change anything. Operating without a $200 license? Please. What happens to contractors when they are caught building contrary to approved plans or hiring illegals? Nothing! What infractions would cause the city to revoke their licenses? None!
Incidentally, James Oddo is the councilman from Staten Island who denied representatives of a Queens community group the chance to speak at a Manhattan meeting about the Department of Buildings that they had been invited to by the City Council.