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Developers Are Divided On Mayor de Blasio's Potential Changes To 421-a Requirements


To combat the rising number of homeless, Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured) is changing the requirements for the 421-a abatements and some developers aren’t happy about that. 

De Blasio wants to require developers who received abatements to set aside half of their community preference units—5% of the total units—to those living in homeless shelters, the New York Times reports.

Despite the city’s insistence that the units would be filled with those who recently lost their jobs or were priced out of the rental market, not those who need extensive social services, many developers weren’t happy about the concept, fearing the homeless could tarnish their buildings’ reputations.

Extell Development founder Gary Barnett—who set apart 120 units in 555Ten in exchange for tens of million dollars and additional air rights—was particularly vocal, telling the Times the change would ruin the 421-a program “for very little public benefit.” 

L&M Partners CEO Ron Moelis called the policy “not unreasonable,” as long as building owners could interview qualified renters, screening them for criminal records and problematic credit histories.

Over the past three years, homeless shelter populations have risen from 51,000 to 60,000. [NYT]