Cuomo’s affordable housing plan could cost city extra $820M

421a cost the city $1.2B in fiscal 2016
January 27, 2017 10:30AM

Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s affordable housing legislation could cost New York City an extra $820 million over 10 years, according to a new analysis by the city.

City Hall didn’t put a cost on the entire revised 421a plan — now known as “Affordable New York” — which reportedly cost the city $1.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2016.

But the governor’s proposed changes to the program would cost the city about $82 million a year more than legislation supported by the de Blasio administration in 2015, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Politico reported.

A spokesperson for the governor said the expenses to create housing for New Yorkers “are minimal, 26 years out, and worth it.”
“In 2015, the mayor proposed amendments to 421-a that made the program far more expensive overall, but stood to create more units of affordable housing. The governor’s proposal provides more affordability for tenants and fairer wages for workers, but keeps the cost of the program from the original 2015 law largely intact,” said the spokesperson, Dani Lever.

Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo introduced a bill to revive 421a — now called Affordable New York — to replace the abatement that expired last January.  Earlier this week, de Blasio expressed concern that lawmakers in Albany would try to push for larger condominium projects to be included in 421a.

In November, the two largest lobbying groups for developers and construction workers signed off on an agreement to bring higher wages to workers at large projects.

The Real Deal and ProPublica published a detailed analysis last year of how the real estate industry bankrolls state legislators who support 421a.

In addition to higher wages, Cuomo’s bill extends the tax break to 35 years, from 25 years, and would give developers a complete tax break for the last decade. Units building as affordable housing would have to remain at those rents for 40 years. [Politico]E.B. Solomont