City Bar Recommends City Planning Commission Consider Postponing Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Amendment and Rezonings Pending Clarity on 421-a Tax Issues

In a letter to the Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, the New York City Bar Association, while expressing its support for the concept of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing as a method for creating permanently affordable housing, raises concerns that certain aspects of an amendment pending before the Commission “are or may become problematic, particularly in light of the recent expiration of the 421-a property tax exemption (‘421-a’).”

Specifically, the City Bar “recommends that the CPC consider postponing the approval of the MIH text amendment and of individual rezonings involving MIH until there is clarification as to whether 421-a will be available and with what requirements (affordability requirements, construction wages, and other relevant requirements).” Under the City land use procedures governing text amendments such as MIH, the City Planning proposal is not subject to a statutory time clock for approval.

The letter, from the Association’s Committees on Housing & Urban Development, Land Use Planning & Zoning, and Cooperative & Condominium Law, outlines a number of additional suggestions for strengthening and clarifying the MIH proposal while reiterating the City Bar’s support for the CPC’s and the Administration’s goal of increasing affordable housing production through MIH. “As discussed in this letter, we believe that clarification of certain items, and revisions to the MIH text where appropriate, would increase the effectiveness and desirability of MIH, making MIH more successful in generating affordable housing and fostering economically diverse neighborhoods. Additionally, providing clear guidance as to MIH’s criteria and procedures will make MIH easier to implement and administer, thereby allowing the program to operate more efficiently,” states the letter.

The letter may be read here: