421a Fallout

Council members and community boards took more potshots at the Mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan this week, mostly seeking more affordable units for lower income people, but the rubber hit the road yesterday with the report that the Durst Organization suspended its $1.5 billion development at Hallets Point because, as a spokesman said, “Without the (421a) abatement, the economics for the project collapse and we couldn’t get a construction loan.”

And, it was reported this morning, the 7,781 residential units receiving construction permits in December before the 421a expiration was followed by only 453 new units permitted in January, a 94 percent drop.

Developers interested in how the Mayor’s other signature housing proposal, Zoning for Housing Quality and Affordability, might work can get some design hints from HPD and the Design Trust, including possible ground floor retail layouts.

Reacting to last week’s criminal indictments in a Lower East Side gas explosion, the City Council will introduce a series of bills Wednesday calling for periodic inspections of all gas lines in buildings (at owner expense and requiring owner certification), new lease notices to tenants about gas smells, natural gas alarms in apartments, and a separate gas qualification for journeyman plumbers, including special classes and continuing education, among others. Draft bills have not all been posted online yet.

Owners with stabilized apartments in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties should be getting letters and emails in the next three weeks with instructions for completing the required Owner Survey of Operating Costs online. There will be no paper forms this year. If you don’t hear by mid-March, contact ETPA@nyshcr.org

Join us at CHIP’s February 24th seminar on J51 Rent Stabilization Enforcement Issues and March 1st program on Tax Benefit Housing and Inclusionary Zoning. Both offer CLE credit. Reservations are required.

This week’s BuildingsNY exhibitor focus is on Thermaxx Jackets, insulating blankets. Meet them at the Javits Center May 24-25th.

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