WE ACT Statement on 421A


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

CONTACT: Stanley Fritz (WE ACT for Environmental Justice) – 212-961-1000 ext 320, Stanley@weact.org

New York, N.Y. – WE ACT for Environmental Justice, has joined in support with coalition partner, Up4NYC demanding that the state reform its controversial housing law, 421 A.

The Law provides tax exemptions to developers as a way to encourage them to build in sites that are historically underused. Recently a campaign has taken life to reform the law which many believe gives too much to developers.

In support of this campaign, WE ACT Deputy Director, Cecil Corbin-Mark released the following statement:

Healthy and affordable housing is a key issue for the majority African-American and Latino residents of Northern Manhattan. Despite the obvious need for affordable units in places like East Harlem and Washington Heights there are millions being spent on developing market rate/luxury units while residents of Northern Manhattan are left in the cold waiting for relief.

It is time to fix 421a by:

  • Requiring developers who receive 421a tax breaks to pay workers good wages, in turn providing a pathway for working families into the middle class
  • Strengthening the 421a program’s affordable housing requirement
  • Including more transparency and accountability provisions, ensuring companies receiving public dollars follow the rules
  • Require adequate health and safety protections for workers on these developments

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West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT for Environmental Justice) is a Northern Manhattan community-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by assuring that people of color and/or low-income participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. Follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.