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Bringing Back 421-A Is a Good Start to Fixing Housing Crisis

Leaders in Albany have correctly identified that New York has a housing crisis. It is even more frustrating that they have chosen to do nothing about that crisis. Without the correct changes, there is no way that the state will reach its goal of 800,000 new units, housing that is desperately needed.

According to the New York Association for Affordable Housing (, New York City need 560,000 new affordable housing units, and 34% of New Yorkers have housing costs above the affordability threshold. This is a crisis that desperately needs to be solved.

Bringing back the previously successful 421-a tax incentive would be a good start. This will help to once again incentivize developers to build new housing. Without these incentives to build, the units won’t get built because of the sky-high construction costs. New York cannot afford to leave units unbuilt and residents without housing.

Another potential problem that will lead to many of these 800,000 housing units going unbuilt would be attaching Prevailing Wage (PW) and Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to these projects. Albany has a bad habit of attaching these expensive and exclusionary to construction projects across the state, leading to inevitable delays and jobs being over budget. While harmful when attached to any project, when talking about affordable housing for the state's most vulnerable residents, our elected officials can’t play politics.

ABC and our members want to meet the state’s 800,000-unit. However, this isn't possible without good policy and common sense changes. Incentivizing developers to build and leaving the projects open to all construction workers, regardless of their union affiliation, is a good start.