Contact Us

Gov. Cuomo Proposes Construction Wage Subsidy As Possible 421-a Compromise

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Hoping to revive affordable rental development, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has moved to offer developers and union officers a wage subsidy for construction workers.

The deal, if accepted by all sides, could jump-start NYC's halted rental pipeline, which includes megaprojects in Brooklyn and Queens that have been shelved because of the 421-a tax abatement's expiration.

The proposal would set a two-tiered, minimum wage structure for 300-plus unit, government-assisted projects in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and allow residential developers to forgo requirements for union workers or union-level wages, the New York Times reports. 

421-a-seeking projects south of 96th Street in Manhattan would pay workers no less than $65/hour, plus benefits, while East River developers would pay $50/hour plus benefits. Thirty percent would be reimbursed by the state, although it’s not clear how the funds for this subsidy would be managed or financed.

In return, developers would be required to set aside 25% to 30% of units for below-market rents. The proposal was discussed by Cuomo’s secretary, Bill Mulrow, REBNY president John Banks and Building and Construction Trades Council president Gary LaBarbera, and sent out to developers Tuesday night.

Gary told the Times that the ball in now in REBNY’s court. The board had a meeting of about 20 developers yesterday to present the proposal, but no action was decided upon. [NYT]