New York Affordable Housing Program Set To Expire

A program that has supported the construction of thousands of affordable units could lapse if state lawmakers don’t approve an extension or revision.

2 minute read

May 25, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Manhattan Construction

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A New York program designed to increase housing affordability could end “amid fierce opposition from lefties and ineffective pushback from City Hall’s dysfunctional statehouse operation, which has failed to reach out to key lawmakers.” As reported by Nolan Hicks and Zach Williams in the New York Post, “The 421-a program, set to expire in June, provides developers with city property tax abatements worth an estimated $1.8 billion in exchange for agreeing to limit and regulate the rents on a portion of the apartments in the new buildings they erect.”

According to former commissioner and deputy mayor Vicki Been, the program helped create around 8,000 affordable housing units in the last ten years. “All told, 421-a either partially or completely funded 4,030 of the 4,279 newly rent-stabilized apartments in New York City in 2020, figures from the Rent Guidelines Board show.” Been notes that the program has also been successful in promoting construction of affordable apartments in wealthier parts of the city, unlike units built under other programs that offer direct subsidies. 

“But progressives have long had the program in their sights, angered over its very structure and provisions that allow developers to set rents for some of the apartments for households with incomes that exceed the city average by as much as 30%.” City Comptroller Brad Lander says “state lawmakers should let the program expire and embark on an overhaul of the property tax system that treats rentals more fairly, attempts at which have repeatedly failed.”

Sunday, May 22, 2022 in New York Post

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