NYS Seal



421-a Property Tax Exemption Program

To review and analyze the 421-a tax credit program and how it influences the development of affordable housing in New York City. Additionally, the hearing will examine the benefits and negatives of the program for New York City and its residents.

July 13, 2010
12:00 P.M.
Assembly Hearing Room
Room 1923, 19th Floor
250 Broadway
New York, NY

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.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Vito Lopez
Member of Assembly
Committee on Housing

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on 421-a Tax Abatement program are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail, email or fax it to:

Zach Shapiro
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Housing
Alfred E. Smith Bldg., 22nd Floor
Albany, New York 12248
Email: shapirz@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-7250
I plan to attend the following public hearing on 421-a Tax Abatement program to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Housing on July 13, 2010.
I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to ten (10) minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.
I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

I do not plan to attend the above hearing.
I would like to be added to the Committee's mailing list for notices and reports.
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I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required: