The Daily Dirt: The housing policies no one is talking about

State budget has even more under the hood

The Daily Dirt
(Illustration by The Real Deal)

A lot of housing policies are packed into the state budget.

ICYMI, the budget creates a new 421a, lifts the city’s cap on residential buildings, enacts a version of good cause eviction and changes the rules for individual apartment improvements. You can read all about those here.

But there are still more housing policies that didn’t make it into our monster recap Saturday.

421p and 421pp

Yep, more tax law sections to get you nice and confused. These are tax breaks that areas of the state outside New York City can now offer by passing a local law.

The 421p program is for building multifamily housing or converting properties into housing with 10 or more units. In such projects, built in a “benefit area” designated by local law, 25 percent of apartments would need to be reserved for tenants earning an average of 60 to 80 percent of the area median income.

The property would be “wholly exempt” from taxes for up to three years of construction. After that, the project is eligible for a 25-year benefit, which slashes 96 percent off the tax bill for the improvements made on the property (the owner still has to pay whatever the taxes were before the project began). The discount decreases by 4 percentage points each year.

421pp has similar AMI requirements, but all units must be income-restricted. That break lasts 30 years after the construction benefit, but the value of the exemption will be determined by individual localities.

And another 421p?

I’m not sure if this is an error, but the budget refers to the creation of another 421p — an incentive for building accessory dwelling units. A full exemption from taxes on the increased value of the property lasts five years. Then the owner receives a discount for another five years. The value of the exemption is capped at $200,000 in increased market value of the property resulting from the ADU.

Insurance discrimination 

The budget includes a measure that bars insurance companies from asking about tenants’ income levels, if tenants receive rental assistance or if a building includes income-restricted units. The bill aims to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to affordable housing or charging extra for buildings with tenants using rental vouchers, such as Section 8.

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Deed theft 

A bill was introduced last year to make deed theft a standalone crime. Language from that measure is in the budget. Prosecution of a felony deed theft charge, or “a fraud in connection with a transaction involving real property,” must take place within five years of the alleged crime.

What we’re thinking about: What questions do you have about the various housing policies in the budget? What should we be writing about? Send ideas to

A thing we’ve learned: My phone is a Pokédex, but for birds! If I take a picture of a bird with my phone or if someone sends me a picture of a bird, my phone can identify it. If you have an iPhone, yours can probably do it too — a little bird icon should pop up on the bottom of the screen.

Elsewhere in New York…

Protesters have pitched tents in front of New York University’s Stern School of Business as part of demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war that have broken out across city campuses, Gothamist reports. Columbia University officials asked police to clear a protest encampment last week, but it popped back up over the weekend, according to the New York Times. Similar encampments have been set up at the New School, Yale and the University of Michigan. The timing of the protests on Monday coincided with the start of Passover.

Republican lawmakers and some pro-Palistinian protesters are calling for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to step down, but for different reasons, Politico New York reports. Students and faculty have criticized the president for violating free speech and for having students arrested and suspended for protesting Israel’s military operations in Gaza.  Republicans have accused Shafik of not taking a strong enough stance against antisemitic incidents. A student coalition calling on Columbia to divest from companies connected to Israel told the Times that its members “firmly reject any form of hate or bigotry” and that reports of antisemitic incidents were the product of outside agitators.

Closing Time 

Residential: The priciest residential sale on Monday was $10.45 million for a pre-war co-op unit at 127 West 79th Street on the Upper West Side. 

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $14.5 million for a 35,600-square-foot storage facility at 651 Utica Avenue in northeast Flatbush. The Carlyle Group was the buyer. 

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $12 million for a 6,000-square-foot townhouse at 50 East 73rd Street in Lenox Hill. Ian Slater of Compass has the listing.

Breaking Ground: The largest new building application filed was for a 296,000-square-foot, nine-story, mixed-use project at 326 Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville. Ariel Aufgang of Aufgang Architects filed the permit. — Matthew Elo