421-A Returns with Blockbuster Deal

By Frank Fortino

The expiration of the 421-a tax exemption led to a scramble among developers as they completed preliminary work to get their projects filed.  Now, legislators have announced that they are extending the 421-a Affordable Housing Program for another forty years.

We have been keeping an eye out for the extension, which was announced late last week. The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York along with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) agreed to extend the already expired 421-A exemption program. This agreement would allow approximately 300 rental units to be built south of 96th Street in Manhattan, and in Brooklyn and Queen Community Boards 1 and 2 within one mile of the nearest waterfront bulkhead.

The agreement enables the creation of new rental stock throughout the City, and also ensures good wages for the workers building those units. Under the agreement, construction workers in Manhattan are to receive an average hourly wage of $60, based on all hours worked. For eligible buildings in Brooklyn and Queens, the wage is $45. These hourly wages are inclusive of both wages and benefits.

We all need to thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for being aggressive and making this happen. This action is a very important public policy, it will allow for the development of critical Affordable Housing to be continued. By considering the role and needs of workers who build our City, the agreement is truly a Win Win for New York.