Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Join Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez & NYC Affordable Housing Advocates at a rally to extend the 421-a exclusion zone and mandate Affordable Housing

From: liz hynes
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 05:00 pm
Subject: Attn: From the Office of Assemblyman Vito Lopez

Dear Mr. Reyes-Montblanc,
Attached is the press alert and information sheet regarding the 421a Press Conference scheduled for Thursday.

As of yet, we do not have a copy of the bill in final form (in the District Office or in Albany) so I'm unable to provide that for you at this time. The main points of the legislation required a 70%-30% affordability clause if developers would like to take advantage of the tax abatement, and language supporting prevailing wages in all of those buildings.

The Assemblyman would like to expand this program city-wide to address the low and middle income housing crisis effecting so many neighborhoods. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and let me know if a representative from CB 9 will be attending the press conference.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Hynes
Legislative Assistant
53rd Assembly District

Join Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez,
SEIU Local 32BJ President Michael Fishman,
And NYC Affordable Housing Advocates
at a rally to extend the 421-a exclusion zone
and mandate
Affordable Housing in

WHAT: Rally to Extend the 421-a Exclusion Zone City-Wide

WHEN: Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:15 am

WHERE: New York City Hall Steps

The Bloomberg Administration has proposed some minor changes to the
421-A property tax abatement program.
While the Administration has agreed to eliminate the certificate program,
they have not proposed a sufficient expansion of the exclusion zone,
or offered to pay building service workers prevailing wage.

We need Affordable Housing and Good Jobs
beyond TRIBECA.


For more information please contact
Alison Hirsh or Stephen Levin at (718) 963-7029

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez Urges New York State to permanently change the 421-a property tax abatement program to incentivize on-site affordable housing development

421a Recipients will be required to build on-site affordable housing,
and in large, majority luxury developments,
pay building service workers a prevailing wage

The original intent of the law establishing the 421-a tax abatement as-of-right in New York City was to encourage housing development in an area where market rate development was not occurring and would not occur without the tax abatement. Since the inception of the 421-a, the New York City housing market has changed dramatically. Market rate development is occurring at a rapid pace and no longer needs the tax abatement to flourish.

The city is now faced with a different crisis: as the real estate market is flourishing across the city, low and moderate income residents are no longer able to afford to live within the five boroughs. Neighborhoods that were once marred by empty lots and vacant land are becoming victims of overdevelopment. Land to build new affordable units is becoming increasingly scarce. Rents are rising and workers’ wages are dropping. New Yorkers need access to more affordable housing and more good jobs. Every community in the city should benefit from affordable housing and good jobs.

Affordable Housing and Good Jobs

In 2005, New York City implemented historic policies in Greenpoint-Williamsburg, Brooklyn to create affordable housing and good jobs. By changing the 421a program city-wide, the success of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning can be mirrored throughout the five boroughs.

City-Wide Affordable Housing

Problem: The 421-a tax abatement will cost New York City $320 million this year alone yet according to a report by the NYC Independent Budget Office in 2003 only 7% of units built by 421-a recipients are affordable to low- and moderate- income families. Many of those affordable units are built in neighborhoods with poorer housing markets, far from the original market-rate units.

A 10912 (Lopez)/ S. 57884 (Maltese, Golden) does the following:
1. Requires all 421-a recipients to build affordable housing.
30% of the units must be affordable for individuals making less than 60% Area Median Income, or
20% must be affordable for individuals making less than 60% Area Median Income and 20% affordable for individuals making less than 100% Area Median Income. Thus mandating that a total of 40% of the units be affordable.
2. Requires all affordable units to be built on-site.

Good Jobs:

Problem: Although roughly 80% of building service workers in New York City are paid the prevailing union rate, as many as 50% of large buildings that receive the 421-a tax abatement do not pay building service employees prevailing wages and benefits.

A 10912 (Lopez)/ S 57884 (Maltese, Golden: Requires recipients of the 421-a tax abatement that build large buildings (50 or more units) with a majority of market-rate units to pay building service employees prevailing wages and benefits.

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