The Role of 421-a during a Decade of Market Rate and Affordable Housing Development

The purpose of the 421-a tax exemption program, known in its most recent iteration as “Affordable New York,” is to encourage new housing construction by alleviating property taxes on the added value that comes with new development. Affordable New York will sunset in June 2022, and its future has been a source of much public debate. This brief takes a close look at development under various versions of 421-a during the last decade. It also examines the housing stock created under the current iteration of the program, Affordable New York. In addition, it examines the take-up of 421-a, the geography of development, and the types of units created with 421-a according to affordability and number of bedrooms. Understanding the recent impact of the program over the last decade is important for policymakers, stakeholders, and advocates as they consider the future of the program.