BY HOWARD HUSCOK
New York’s new rent-regulation law makes dramatic changes to housing rules — limiting rent increases after owners make major improvements and even after units become vacant and the rents have not been raised for years.
The law will likely lead to lower values for buildings with rent-stabilized units, potentially weakening the city’s tax base. Ironically, it may discourage development of affordable housing, which Mayor Bill de Blasio sees as a central goal.
De Blasio is betting that he can reach a signature goal of “building or preserving” 300,000 affordable units, in part through “inclusionary zoning.” In exchange for generous tax abatements and the easing of height and density restrictions on their buildings, developers set aside 30 percent of units in new buildings and subsidize them as “affordable” for lower-income tenants.
Those units become rent-stabilized; the rest can be priced at market rates, though the new legislation could be interpreted to mean that those market-rate apartments fall under rent regulation, too.