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The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has announced an Amnesty Program for building owners who failed to file a Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) report in the 8th Cycle, which ended on February 21, 2020. While most construction work in New York state has shut down due to Governor Cuomo's 'New York State on Pause' Executive Order during the current COVID-19 outbreak, FISP inspections are considered essential work because their purpose is public safety.
Under the program, non-compliant owners can administratively close their 8th Cycle filing requirement by filing a 9th Cycle report between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.
The amnesty program is only available to building owners who failed to file their 8th Cycle FISP report.
Non-compliant owners may file their reports during the June 1 to August 31, 2020 amnesty period regardless of their official 9th cycle filing period (which is based on the last digit of the building's block number).
The standard filing fee of $265 is required for submission of the 9th Cycle report.
There is no filing fee required for the administrative closure of the 8th Cycle.
The amnesty program does not waive late fees, civil penalties or ECB fines accrued for failure to file a report. All late fees, civil penalties or ECB fines accrued for a failure to file during any previous cycles must be paid prior to or at the time of the amnesty program filing.
New 9th Cycle Rules
It's important to note that in order to take advantage of this amnesty program, reports filed must comply with the new 9th Cycle rules, which went into effect on February 21, 2020. The most significant new requirements include additional hands-on inspections (drops) every 60 feet along facades facing streets and public access ways, probe investigations along every drop on cavity wall facades, new and increased civil penalties, and the display of facade condition certificates in building lobbies.
For more information on the new 9th Cycle FISP rules, please see RAND's article, "New Rule Issued for Facade Inspections."
RAND Engineering & Architecture DPC is based in Manhattan and specializes in evaluating building systems and designing, specifying, and administering programs for repair, upgrade, and restoration.