Over the past few weeks, the de Blasio administration in New York City has quietly rolled out a new housing policy to curb the number of people in the city's homeless shelters.
Under the 421-a program, developers get a tax break for committing 20% of their building's units to community-preference – half of which via lottery and half of which would be for local residents, older residents, disabled people, or military veterans. The new law from Mayor Bill de Blasio will require half of those units now be reserved for the homeless.
Many developers are concerned about the effect this will have on their community's brand and reputation, particularly for luxury buildings. Some argue that the new law will put the entire 421-a program at risk as more developers will choose to forgo the tax break to maintain their building's reputation.
Gary Barnett, President of Extell Development (which is notorious for building 'poor doors' that were later outlawed), claims the new legislation would only affect 750 units in the city, while the number of homeless people surpasses 60,000.