Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Step Forward to Slow the Double Dip of 421-a / Inclusionary Housing Benefits

A Step Forward to Slow the Double Dip of 421-a / Inclusionary Housing Benefits

Yesterday’s The Real Deal article reported that the City is considering limitations on the how the 421-a developer’s tax break and the inclusionary housing program commingle. Currently, residential developers who receive the overly generous 421-a tax break in very high-density (R10) sites count can transfer air rights to other very high density developments nearby and also receive extra space for every square foot of affordable housing built.

ANHD applauds the City for taking a step to curb the egregious double-dipping of affordable housing tax break and subsidy programs.

Unfortunately, 421-a has long been combined with other city subsidies for a double-dip, or even with Inclusionary Housing bonuses for a triple-dip. This leaves New York City tax payers over-paying developers to build affordable housing units. And this leaves neighborhoods with fewer affordable housing units than their community would have had otherwise.

ANHD and our member groups have long called for the prohibition of double-dipping when 421-a is used in conjunction with other affordable housing subsidies.

The new HPD commissioner Maria Torres-Springer should require that density bonuses granted though the inclusionary housing program be restricted to on-site affordable housing. Additionally, ANHD maintains that this restriction should not only apply to the R10 Inclusionary Housing program, but also to the recently passed mandatory inclusionary housing program and to the older voluntary inclusionary housing program.

We can and must require more from developers receiving benefits from the City and State. Developers that double-dip and combine both 421-a and inclusionary housing should be required to produce either deeper affordability levels or additional affordable housing units.

While only a first step, this change will begin to move us closer to reprioritizing the growing housing and homelessness crises over the profit needs of lucrative real estate developers.

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