Despite a day of lobbying in Albany, Mayor de Blasio announced late this afternoon there was still no deal in the state legislation on the renewal of a tax abatement subsidy for developers in the city and for mayoral control of city schools.
“I am encouraged by the actions of the Assembly. The Assembly has already acted on mayoral control of education. The Assembly has already acted on rent regulation, including strengthening rent regulation, which we need desperately because we’re losing affordable housing constantly in New York City,” said de Blasio.
“We need action from the other two parts of the equation. We particularly need the governor to act. We need leadership, and we know the governor has been able in the past to create real change here in Albany and get big things done. This is a moment where we need that leadership. Again, a million rent-regulated units – over 2 million New Yorkers who live in them. Their fate is hanging in the balance. Whether we’re going to have a steady supply of affordable housing in our city, or whether more and more people are going to be displaced. More and more people – unable to live in their neighborhoods, unable to live in the city they love. That’s what’s hanging in the balance on rent regulation,” he added.
The 421-a subsidy, which was originally given to developers in the 1970s to spur development when the city was at a low-point economically, is up for renewal next month and without it the subsidy will die.want to see it reformed.
De Blasio is proposing renewal of 421-a including the reforms that all developers who opt into the program and have more than 30 units will pay service workers such as lobby attendants and maintenance staff a prevailing wage. However, the mayor’s proposal also calls for construction workers to work for less than prevailing wages to save developers money so more affordable units can be built.
De Blasio’s proposal has the backing of such pro-developer groups as the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Conversely, the labor unions are against the proposals, saying it will hurt the middle class and ultimately defeat the purpose of creating more affordable housing.
In renewing mayoral control of schools, the assembly already voted to extend mayoral control for three years, but the Republican-controlled senate is still in discussions on the renewal on both time length and possible provisions.
The legislative session ends June 17.