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Cuomo offers new incentive plan for NYC affordable housing

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is pictured on Monday,

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is pictured on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, delivering the State of the State address at One World Trade Center in Manhattan. Credit: Charles Eckert

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday he sent state lawmakers a bill to replace the expired 421a property tax abatement program that sought to provide incentives for affordable housing construction in New York City.

The legislation, which the governor is calling “Affordable New York,” is the result of a deal reached in November between the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York to expand below-market-rate housing stock while ensuring fair wages for builders.

“It will create about 2,500 units per year of affordable housing, about 9,000 units total,” Cuomo told WNYM/970 AM host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday. “And it’s actually, in my opinion, a better program than the old 421a.”

The governor’s office said the bill keeps the housing units affordable for 40 years, compared to the previous 35-year requirement, and ensures construction workers a rate of $45 an hour or $60 an hour, depending on the location of the project.

Developers would get tax breaks for 35 years.

Cuomo said he hopes the legislation would lead Senate Republicans to release $2 billion in housing funds.

Scott Reif, a spokesman for state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), did not respond to a request for comment.


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