N.Y. Municipal Housing Authorities Law Section 70
Eminent domain


The power of eminent domain may be exercised by or for an authority after the adoption by it of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the property described therein is in the public interest and necessary for the public use and that such property is included in an approved project.


The authority may exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to the provisions of the condemnation law with such modifications as are in this subdivision two provided. A certified copy of the authority’s resolution shall be conclusive evidence as to the matters contained therein in any proceeding under the condemnation law to acquire the property or any part thereof described in such resolution. The proceeding shall be instituted by the presentation of a petition by the authority to the supreme court pursuant to section four of the condemnation law. The petition shall, in lieu of the statements required by subdivision one of section four of said law, set forth the name of the authority and the time and place of the filing of its certificate, and shall in addition to the matters required by said section four, state the amount or valuation at which each parcel of the real property to be acquired has been assessed for purposes of taxation on the tax rolls of the municipality for each of the three years preceding the date of the petition, which assessed valuation in case only part of an entire plot in a single ownership is to be acquired shall be pro-rated according to the area of the part so to be acquired. Where it appears to the satisfaction of the court, at any stage of the proceedings, upon the petition of the authority, that the public interest will be prejudiced by delay, the court may after such notice to the parties in interest as it may prescribe, which notice, however, shall not be less than eight days and may be by posting upon the property or by publication in such paper or papers at such times as the court may require, order that the authority be permitted to enter immediately upon the real property described in the petition, or any part thereof, and to demolish any structures located thereon, and to proceed with the construction of the project thereon, upon depositing with the court a sum of money or in lieu thereof, bonds or obligations of the state or the United States of equivalent or greater value, not less than the last assessed valuation of the property, which the court shall find to be sufficient for the protection of the persons who may be entitled to the award. Such deposit or the proceeds thereof shall be applied, so far as it may be necessary for that purpose, to the payment of any award that may be made, with interest thereon, costs and expenses, and the residue, if any, shall be returned to the authority. An authority may petition the municipality to institute proceedings under its charter or other law, to acquire property described in the petition which the authority has certified to be necessary for a project. The resolution granting the petition shall set forth the amount to be paid by the authority to the municipality for such property or in lieu thereof that the authority shall pay to the municipality all sums expended or required to be expended by the municipality in the acquisition thereof, and the time of payment and manner of securing payment thereof, and may require that the municipality shall receive, before proceeding with the acquisition of such property, such assurances as to payment or reimbursement by the authority or otherwise as the municipality may deem advisable. Upon the passage of a resolution by the municipality granting the petition, the authority shall cause two surveys or maps of the property described in the petition to be made one of which shall be filed in the office of the authority and the other in the office in which instruments affecting real property in the county are recorded. The filing of such surveys or maps shall be conclusive evidence of the acceptance by the authority of the terms and conditions of such resolution. The municipality may proceed under any provision of its charter or other law applicable to the condemnation of real property for public improvements. When title to the property shall have vested in the municipality, it shall convey the same to the authority upon payment by the authority of the sums and the giving of the security required by the resolution granting the petition. As soon as title shall have vested in the municipality, the authority may, upon the authorization of the mayor or county executive, as the case may be, enter upon the property taken and carry out the terms of the project with respect thereto. Whenever in connection with eminent domain proceedings, requirement is made in any city charter or other law for the performance of an act by a department or officer of the municipality, it shall be regarded for the purposes of this section as compliance therewith if with the approval of the mayor or county executive such act is performed by the authority or by persons specially designated by it.


In the case of a federal project, the authority may, with the approval of the mayor or county executive, as the case may be, request the federal government to acquire by eminent domain property which the authority has certified to be necessary for the project.


In any proceedings for the assessment of compensation and damages for property taken or to be taken by eminent domain by or for an authority, the following provisions shall be applicable:


Evidence of the price and other terms upon any sale or the rent reserved and other terms upon any lease or tenancy relating to any of the property taken or to be taken or to any similar property in the vicinity when the sale or leasing occurred or the tenancy existed within a reasonable time of the trial shall be admissible on direct examination. At any stage of the proceeding, the court or tribunal may require such prior notice to be given of an intention to introduce evidence as to the sale, leasing or tenancy of property other than the property directly involved in the proceeding and of particulars relating thereto as it may deem necessary to prevent surprise.


The deposition of any person, whether or not a party, may be taken pursuant to article twenty-nine of the civil practice act, the rules of civil practice and the provisions of this section. Such deposition may be taken upon any question or issue in the proceeding, including the facts as to any sale, lease or tenancy admissible in evidence pursuant to this subdivision five. The deposition may be taken at the instance of the authority or of any owner or at the direction of the court, at any time during the pendency of the action or proceeding. At least five days’ notice, or if service is through the mails, at least eight days’ notice, shall be given of the taking of the testimony, if on the part of an owner, to the authority and to all other owners who have appeared in the proceeding; if by the authority, to all owners who have appeared in the proceeding.


Any time during the pendency of such action or proceedings, an authority or an owner may apply to the court for an order directing an owner or the authority, as the case may be, to show cause why further proceedings should not be expedited, and the court may upon such application make an order requiring that the hearings proceed and that any other steps be taken with all possible expedition.


For the purposes of this article, the award of compensation shall not be increased by reason of any increase in the value of the property caused by the clearance, reconstruction or proposed clearance or reconstruction under this article of the property or of the area in which the property is situated. No allowance shall be made for improvements begun on property after notice to the owner of such property of the institution of the proceedings to condemn such property.


Evidence shall be admissible bearing upon the unsanitary, unsafe or substandard condition of the premises, or the illegal use thereof, or the enhancement of rentals resulting from such illegal use, and such evidence may be considered in fixing the compensation to be paid, notwithstanding that no steps to remedy or abate such conditions have been taken by the department or officers having jurisdiction. If a violation order is on file against the premises in any such department, it shall constitute prima facie evidence of the existence of the condition specified in such order.


If any of the property included within the project is devoted to a public use, it may nevertheless be acquired provided that no property belonging to the municipality or to any government may be acquired without its consent, and no property belonging to a public utility corporation may be acquired without the approval of the commission or other officer or tribunal having regulatory power over such corporation.


The term “owner,” as used in this section, shall include a person having an estate, interest or easement in the property to be acquired or a lien, charge or encumbrance thereon. * NB The text of Article 5 of the former State Housing Law (cited herein as the “Municipal Housing Authorities Law”), as such article existed immediately prior to its repeal pursuant to section 227 of Chapter 808 of the Laws of 1939, is provided here for ease of reference and historical purposes as such text continues to be applicable for the New York City Housing Authority pursuant to the provisions of section 401 of the current Public Housing Law.

Source: Section 70 — Eminent domain, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/MHA/70 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 70’s source at nysenate​.gov

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