The 421-a Tax Exemption

NYC Real Estate

APR 7, 2023

The 421-a tax exemption, also known as the "Affordable New York" program, is a tax incentive program that was designed to encourage the construction of affordable housing in New York City. This program was first introduced in the 1970s and has since undergone several changes.

What is the 421-a program?

Under the 421-a program, developers who construct new residential buildings or renovate existing buildings in certain designated areas of the city are eligible for property tax exemptions for a set period of time. The duration of the tax exemption varies depending on the location of the development and the level of affordability of the housing units.

What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to be eligible for the 421-a program, developers must agree to certain affordability requirements for a portion of the units in their buildings. These requirements are set by the city and are intended to ensure that the new housing is accessible to low- and middle-income New Yorkers.

The affordability requirements vary depending on the location of the development. In some areas of the city, developers must set aside a certain percentage of units for low-income tenants, while in other areas, they must set aside units for moderate-income tenants. In addition, the units must remain affordable for a set period of time, typically between 20 and 35 years.

Controversy behind the 421-a

The 421-a program has been a controversial topic in New York City politics for many years. Proponents argue that it has helped to increase the supply of affordable housing in the city and has stimulated economic development in certain areas. However, critics argue that the program has been overused and that it has resulted in developers receiving excessive tax breaks at the expense of taxpayers.

In recent years, the 421-a program has undergone significant changes. In 2016, the program was temporarily suspended as the state government and real estate industry negotiated changes to the program. The revised program, which is now called "Affordable New York," includes stricter affordability requirements and higher wage standards for construction workers on projects that receive the tax exemption.

In conclusion, the 421-a tax exemption program has played a significant role in the development of affordable housing in New York City over the past several decades. While it has been controversial at times, it remains an important tool for incentivizing the construction of affordable housing in certain areas of the city.

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice.


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