421a Developer’s Tax Break expiring June 2015: Fix it or End it

With 421a and Rent Laws set to expire in June 2015, the City and the State are at critical moment. Will we put the public benefit of affordable housing before the private profit interests of real estate developers? Our government officials have the opportunity to send a clear message about our priorities by strengthening the rent laws and reforming 421a so that they serve and protect our communities’ local affordable housing needs.

Today, ANHD released our 421a Policy Reform Proposal. In this report, ANHD outlines the how the 421a Developer’s Tax Break could be completely revamped in order to become a true affordable housing tool that meets the needs of local neighborhoods instead of a billion dollar boondoggle for real estate developers.

ANHD calls to:

  • Require that 421a developments make at least 25% of apartments affordable available at 30% AMI level, to serve the 1/3 of New Yorkers struggling the most with housing costs.
  • Require on-site affordable apartments in every neighborhood.
  • Make all affordable apartments permanently affordable.
  • Prohibit double-dipping when 421a is used in conjunction with other affordable housing subsidies.
  • Promote mixed-income communities by ensuring the fair and equal treatment of all tenants.
  • Ensure that 421a rules are transparent and adhered to by creating a compliance fee to fund the enforcement of tenants’ rights and program rules.

It’s long past time to re-evaluate the 421a Developer’s Tax Break. The City and the State cannot allow such a flawed and outdated program to continue.

Either we Fix the 421a Developers’ Tax Break, remaking it into a true affordable housing program that meets the affordable housing needs of local New Yorkers… or we End it. The current 421a program’s paradigm cannot continue. We cannot afford to subsidize luxury real estate that is unaffordable to average New Yorkers.

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