Albany wrapped up its last official session of 2016 on Thursday, without renewing or replacing the state's controversial 421-a program — a tax break for certain newly-built residential developments that expired in January.
Lawmakers were slated to reconvene in both the Senate and Assembly early Friday, but it was still unclear Friday morning whether they'd resolve the issue before adjourning for the year.
Without a tax break program, developers warned that rental housing development is likely to shrink and put a major dent in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to build 80,000 new units of affordable housing over the next decade.
State lawmakers this week proposed a replacement bill that sets new wage floors for construction workers on projects receiving the tax breaks. And while the real estate community seems placated, construction workers and housing advocates say the new plan doesn't do enough.
Both sides agree though that 421-a had been a large drive of rental development in the city, and without it, some sort of subsidy would be needed to replace it.
On Wednesday, the mayor criticized the existing program for wasting taxpayer dollars to subsidize luxury housing.
Experts say the loss of 421-a could also greatly hinder the mayor's recently-approved Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan, which largely relied on the tax breaks to make it easier for developers to build housing that includes affordable units.