421a Stalemate Over: Agreement Between REBNY and BCTC Paves Way to Reinstatement of Program

An agreement on a key component to the renewal of the 421a program was reached yesterday between the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC). The program expired last January, after REBNY and BCTC failed to reach an agreement on minimum wages for construction work on projects benefiting from the program.

The agreement calls for eligible buildings in Manhattan to pay on average an hourly wage of $60 (includes wages and benefits), with eligible buildings in Brooklyn and Queens paying an hourly wage of $45. The minimum wage obligation would apply to buildings with 300 rental units or more in Manhattan south of 96th Street and in Brooklyn and certain part of Queens Community Boards 1 and 2, nearer the waterfront. The new deal would extend the length of the tax exemption to 35 years. In return, affordable apartments must stay affordable for 40 years, up from 35 years.

Reinstating the 421a program would require legislation be passed in Albany. Governor Cuomo has released a statement endorsing the deal reached between REBNY and BCTC and has called upon the Legislature to return to Albany to “pass desperately needed affordable housing.”

We are following these ongoing developments very closely and will keep you updated.