ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The 421-a Property Tax Exemption Program, enacted in 1971, allows tax exemptions for new developments when developers agree to build affordable units on land that is vacant or underutilized. The program offers ten to fifteen year tax exemptions, and if affordable units are built on the premises, the exemption may be extended for an additional ten years. In 2007 the State made amendments to the program that allowed affordable units to be available to households with a slightly larger income and reduced the incentives available for housing construction in areas of New York City where land values and property development were already thriving without the program's assistance. This program's purpose has been to encourage the development of housing and to ensure that a portion of the new housing remains affordable for working families.
Please see the reverse side for a list of questions to which witnesses may direct their testimony.
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Have the 421-a tax exemptions resulted in the development of affordable housing in New York City? Can you quantify how much of the housing developed in the last three years and housing currently under construction is dependent on these tax benefits? What changes could be made to the program to produce more affordable housing? How many affordable housing units are created, on an annual basis, as a result of the program?
If the 421-a program sunsets at the end of the year, what impact would it have on the creation of affordable housing units and on residential units in general?
Is the 421-a program causing housing to be developed in the areas where it is most needed? If not could the program be modified to encourage developers to build in those areas?
Have the introduction of set-asides, the expansion of the geographic exclusion areas, and different tax benefits produced more widespread affordable housing in the city?
Could the provisions of the 421-a program be altered to generate more affordable housing while still providing incentive for the development of new buildings? If so, how?