(DNAINFO) Amy Zimmer | May 1, 2017 — The state’s controversial 421-a tax break for real estate developers is back after a two-year limbo, delighting developers and concerning some housing advocates who say it’s going to deprive the city of much-needed revenue.
The program, which now goes by the moniker Affordable New York Housing, was passed with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who tied the state’s release of $2.5 billion in funding to build affordable and supportive housing to the tax break deal. He said the program will help build 2,500 “affordable” units a year.
Many developers exhaled when the agreement was signed, saying their ability to build a mix of market-rate and affordable housing will be more financially feasible with the tax break, and some projects that had been on hold because they were banking on the break, such as Astoria’s massive Hallets Point, are now moving forward again.
Many in the affordable housing development community were pleased that Cuomo’s long-awaited money can finally be released to the city, especially as the industry braces for expected cuts from the federal government.
But other housing advocates lamented the new 421-a deal, saying it’s even more generous to developers than the much-criticized previous incarnation, and they fear the loss in tax revenue will hurt the city even more as it will need to plug other funding gaps. In addition, housing advocates worry that a new element of the deal might weaken rent regulation laws.