At today’s Stated Meeting of the New York City Council, Council Member Tiffany Cabán (District 22), introduced a Resolution calling on Albany not to renew the “Free Billions for Developers” 421-a Tax Credit, a program which is slated to expire this year.
Created in 1971, the program cost New York City $1.7 Billion in forgone revenue in 2021, making it the single biggest tax break in the New York State budget. Though it was initially intended to subsidize the creation of affordable housing, research has shown that a majority of 421-a units built since 2017 are set at 130% AMI, which is unaffordable to 75% of New Yorkers.
“Given the pathetic number of real affordable units it buys us, the ‘Free Billions for Developers’ 421-a tax credit is actually a massive giveaway to the wealthy real estate interests who least need assistance,” said Cabán. “What’s more, while the subsidized units are supposed to be rent stabilized, enforcement is non-existent, leaving tenants at risk.”
Urging her colleagues to sign on as co-sponsors of the Resolution, Cabán continued, “Albany should scrap the program entirely. Instead, we should focus all our efforts on reworking the city’s regressive property tax system, and on building the new programs, tools, and laws necessary to meaningfully address our city’s housing crisis.”
Also at today’s Stated Meeting, Cabán acted as third prime sponsor on a resolution in support of Sen. Jabari Brisport’s Universal Child Care Act and Sen. Jessica Ramos’ Early Learning Child Care Act, which would provide financial assistance to families and child care providers, making child care more affordable and accessible.