Stabilized Units Up Again

There was a net increase of 169 rent stabilized apartments in 2014, according to a report issued by the Rent Guidelines Board yesterday. This is the second year in a row that additions to the regulated stock from programs such as 421a, 421c, and J51 outweighed subtractions for high rent/high income decontrol, expiring benefit programs, and other reasons. The report noted that only 186 units were deregulated based on high tenant income last year, and fewer than 6,000 total since 1994.

A second RGB report, however,  found that new housing completions declined 6.4 percent. The number of new 421a units completed fell for the third year in a row, following 2008 legislative changes that began kicking into the construction stream after 2011.

Meanwhile, the fate of rent regulation and 421a was still hanging in Albany, with barely two weeks of the legislative session left. Mayor de Blasio went upstate to lobby for changes in both laws Wednesday, but apparently got mostly lip service from the Governor and  Legislative leaders who are widely reported to be too scared to do anything on the issues while under the eyes of prosecutors.

The Mayor also this week made clear his preference for building new subsidized housing over maintaining existing buildings…maintaining his belief in prevailing wages for building service employees but saying that union construction workers were too expensive for the “sacred mission” of building affordable housing. Apparently, that was too much for the Governor, who could not resist saying de Blasio’s 421a plan was a giveaway to developers at the expense of workers and came too late in the session to be debated properly anyway.

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