Earlier this year developers and labor unions failed to reach a deal to renew the controversial 421-a tax abatement program that is designed to entice the development of affordable housing. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators agreed to extend the program early last year while putting the long-term future of it in the hands of the special interests that benefit from it–an unprecedented move that was met with loud criticism.
With negotiations failed and the program expired, it appears that real estate groups are looking to Cuomo and state legislators to figure out new life for the program. Without it, the future of rental housing, including affordable units, in New York City is in question. Expressing serious concern, Mayor Bill de Blasio has called on Albany leaders to make the situation right.
Asked about how he would like to see the 421-a issue resolved, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said, “I believe that it should be people of good faith sitting in a room working – I’m not kidding – working on a compromise. The housing question in the City of New York is unbelievably important.” Flanagan was speaking to reporters after giving a speech to the Association for a Better New York on Jan. 28.
Tenant advocates also want to get key players in a room to hash out a solution, but they want those meetings open to the public and including all stakeholders, not just the ones that make large campaign contributions. Read more about whether that will actually happen.