Governor Cuomo announced the revival of the state's 421-a tax program, which previously offered developers tax breaks in exchange for reserving units for low-income renters. The program expired in January, and the Governor has been eager to reinstate a new version that would improve the amount of affordable housing.
Under the new deal, builders would get the special tax benefits for a longer period — a 100 percent tax abatement for 35 years. A plan embraced by the mayor had called for a 25-year abatement followed by a phased-in return to full taxes over an additional 10 years. Details of the new deal were hashed out by state officials; members of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s powerful lobbying arm; and union officials.
In the proposed version of the program, subsidized apartments would have to remain affordable for 40 years.
New York's 421-a program has come under some recent heat after ProPublica released a scathing investigation that found a majority of developers who received its tax breaks were still using reserved subsidized units for market-rate renters.