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Trouble at Astoria Cove? Its Affordable Housing Formula Doesn't Meet 421a Standard

There's a slight problem with the affordable housing formula for Astoria Cove, the planned Queens development that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called "a real game changer." Its mix of 456 affordable housing units doesn't meet the reworked standards of the 421a tax break, Capital New York reports. Last November developer Alma Realty reached a deal with the City Council to make 27% of the project's units affordable. Under the deal's terms, the split would be 5% at or below 60% of AMI, 15% at 80% AMI, and 7% at 125% AMI. Then the city would subsidize another 34 (2%) affordable units by kicking in $4.8M. According to the new 421a deal struck in Albany last month, to get the tax benefit, the developer would need to set aside 25% for affordable housing, with 10% at 40% of AMI, 10% at 60% AMI, and 5% at 130% AMI. Alma doesn't have to apply for 421a, but without it Astoria Cove might be too expensive. The deal to build Astoria Cove was a big one for the de Blasio administration, because it was the first time it incorporated mandatory inclusionary zoning, which requires a developer seeking rezoning to include affordable housing. [CapNY]