What’s the rush? Developers created nearly three times the number of units this year using New York’s voluntary inclusionary housing program than in 2014.
The voluntary program allows developers to construct more units overall if they create some which are affordable to low-income renters. Developers promised 3,031 units under the program in 2015, compared to only 936 last year.
The remarkable uptick is likely due to uncertainty about how the program might change if and when Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new plan for mandatory inclusionary housing is put into action, according to Politico New York.
Politico speculates that developers rushed to take advantage of the “voluntary” plan in 2015 fearing that the new “mandatory” plan would give them less control over determining the number of affordable units.
But any fears were unfounded. De Blasio’s plan only mandates affordable units at developments that take request or take advantage of a rezoning.
The rush to develop under the voluntary plan echoes a similar spike in building just before the 421-a tax break was set to expire this summer.
The article did not specify if the additional units were created under the 421-a tax break, if they included a mix of market rate and affordable units, or how many units were created in Brooklyn.
Combined with the city’s hot real estate market and construction boom, the strategic use of beneficial programs exacerbates the regular ebbs and flows of development.