The Daily Dirt: Rematch? 421a vs. good cause 

Senator expresses optimism for housing deal

Sen. Kavanagh Talks 421a, Good Cause: The Daily Dirt
Senator Brian Kavanagh and HCR's RuthAnne Visnauskas (New York State Senate, Homes andCommunity Renewal, Getty)

The stage is being set for the next state legislative session. 

The players: The governor, the legislature, construction unions, tenant advocates and developer groups

The conflict: The lack of a tax break for multifamily developers and an ongoing push to ramp up tenant protections

The last legislative session ended without a grand housing deal — and with differing accounts of what happened. Lawmakers say they had an agreement that included a California-like version of good cause eviction, an extension to the 421a construction deadline. The governor said she was never handed a deal to consider. 

During a panel held by the New York Housing Conference, Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who heads his chamber’s housing committee, said he is “optimistic” the legislature will reach a broad agreement on housing next year. But, he said, many of his colleagues are not willing to act on 421a without passing a version of good cause eviction. 

He expressed hope that the legislature will act on lifting the FAR cap and approving a tax break for office conversions that include affordable housing. Last session, the Assembly pushed for requiring conversions to include affordable housing without additional subsidies.  

After the panel, I asked RuthAnne Visnauskas if the governor has made a decision on good cause and if she thinks there’s a deal to be made, but she said the governor has not seen a plan that includes 421a and good cause. She also cited ongoing discussion with labor on the issue.

The New York District Council of Carpenters says that housing will be its number one priority next year. The union has called for a 421a replacement program that includes wage requirements citywide. It has also criticized the Real Estate Board of New York, saying that the group has failed to negotiate in good faith. 

This time last year — at the same event — Gov. Kathy Hochul teased her “New York Housing Compact,” which set housing growth targets throughout the state. She has indicated that she will not push mandates in 2024, in part because it is an election year. 

Later in the day, she announced plans for building more than 2,800 homes on state-owned land in Queens. At Wednesday’s event, Mayor Eric Adams announced that various city agencies will work with developers struggling to meet the 421a construction deadline. So, as they wait for a potential housing deal, the mayor and governor are working around the legislature. 

What we’re thinking about: Government loves to throw a task force at a problem. What do you think about Mayor Eric Adams’ 421a rescue team? Send a note to

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A thing we’ve learned: Even N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy is aware that a great band has called it quits. The governor tweeted about the end of New Jersey-based band Screaming Females.   

Elsewhere in New York…

— The City Council on Wednesday introduced a bill to remove the city’s cap on vendor permits and licenses, Gothamist reports. The cap has forced thousands of vendors to operate illegally or rent a permit for tens of thousands of dollars. “We need to have a way to bring people out to the light from the shadows,” said Council member Pierina Sanchez, who is sponsoring the bill with Council member Amanda Farías.

— A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that only 28 percent of registered New York voters approve of Mayor Eric Adams’ performance and 58 percent disapprove, Politico New York reports. That is the lowest approval rating for a mayor recorded by a Quinnipiac poll since 1996.

— The MTA board on Wednesday signed off on the congestion pricing plan, which will charge $15 for cars entering Manhattan below 60th Street and trucks between $24 and $36, depending on size, NBC New York reports

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential closing Wednesday was $12.8 million for a condo at 217 West 57th Street in Midtown.

 Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $5 million for a three-story building at 83 Madison Street in the Two Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan.

New to the Market: The priciest residence to hit the market Wednesday was a condo at 165 Charles Street in West Village asking $9 million. Compass has the listing. — Jay Young

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