A new map released by the New York City Independent Budget Office displays via multicolored dots basically what we've all known all along — that the 421-a tax abatement, which was designed to incentivize developers to create more affordable housing, is taken advantage of primarily by the developers building in New York City's richest areas. In order to obtain the 421-a, developers are required to designate 20 percent of units as affordable housing, but — thanks to what some might call a loophole — they don't have to build those units in the same locations as their luxury towers (such as, for instance, One57, which will use the program to save its residents hundreds of thousands of dollars per year per resident in exchange for throwing up some affordable housing ... somewhere ... at some point.) The IBO reports that more than 150,000 units get the tax break resulting in over $1 billion a year in uncollected revenue. Now what we'd really like to see is a map of where all those affordable housing units ended up.
· City's Most Awesome Tax Breaks Clustered in Richest Areas [Village Voice]