The Real Deal New York

Legislators reach deal on 421a, rent regulations

Future of tax abatement hinges on wage agreement between REBNY and unions

June 26, 2015 08:00AM

From left: Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo

From left: Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo

Legislators have finally come to an agreement about the future of the city’s rent regulations as well as the future of the 421a tax abatement program. Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislatures came to a deal on Thursday night, according to Capital New York.

The new bill extends rent regulations and 421a will by four years. Both tenant advocates and landlords expressed their unhappiness with the outcome.

As far as 421a goes, the program is contingent on a wage agreement between the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, according to the website. If no such deal can be struck, the tax break program will expire in six months. The length of the tax abatements under the programs will be extended to 35 years from the current 25, which is in line with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal. All rental buildings that receive the abatement are required to include a certain percentage of affordable housing.

The mayor’s office predicted that the changes to 421a could help create 24,000 affordable apartments over 10 years, according to the website.

The new rent laws will not end vacancy decontrol, something advocates have been fighting for, but rather up the threshold of the point where affordable units can be flipped to market rent from $2,500 to $2,700.

While the rent laws didn’t reach the level the mayor and the governor had been advocating for, Cuomo still called it “the best rent reform package in history,” Capital reported. For some people,” Cuomo reportedly said, “it will never be enough, frankly.” [Capital] — Claire Moses