Once a hot-button issue, it barely drew a dozen attendees, mostly representing the New York Department of State. On Monday, June 8, at a hearing held at Lehman High School, the few speakers presented testimony in favor of renewing the state’s non-solicitation order for Community Board 10.
The hearing was part of a mandatory renewal process for CB 10’s non-solicitation order, which allows homeowners to block solicitations from real estate agents and real estate brokers.
The non-solicitation order was put in place years ago to prevent unscrupulous real estate brokers, both in CB 10 and outside the area, from using phone calls, postings, and door-to-door visits fostering either “blockbusting” – which creates the fear of falling real estate prices, or “racial steering” – which targets specific buyers based on their race.
“We are able to stop unsolicited calls on our phones by keying in our number on the Do Not Call List; we are able to stop junk mail by filling out a card at the post office; we want to continue to stop real estate agents from sending us material by being able to sign up again for this non-solicitation order,” Lynn Gerbino, president of the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association, said in her testimony.
Gerbino said that the non-solicitation order was put in effect to corral some out-of-control real estate agents who used over-the-top tactics, including the implication of fear and panic to ramp up home-selling activities.
Representatives from Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Jimmy Vacca also supported the renewal of the non-solicitation order.
The newly formed Northeast Bronx Community Alliance also offered written testimony in favor of keeping the non-solicitation order. That organization represents six community groups in CB 10.
This is the second time that the order has come up for renewal in CB 10.
The order prohibits real estate agents from speculating as to what will or may occur in the racial or religious composition of any block or neighborhood, and what that could mean for an area in terms of property values, except when prompted by a question from a prospective buyer that the agent did not solicit.