EXAMINING HOW 421A MAY HAVE REINFORCED RACIAL SEGREGATION THROUGHOUT GENTRIFYING AREAS IN NEW YORK CITY
Section 421a of the New York State Real Property Tax Law, created during New York City’s real estate nadir in 1971, offers developers of multifamily residential dwelling units various tax abatement options for building on vacant or undesirable land. In order to preserve affordable housing as the real estate market recovered, the 1985 State Legislature identified affordable housing criteria which developers must meet to qualify for the abatement. The team examined the consequences of the Section 421a program on racial segregation in Brooklyn and Queens from 2008 through 2019 by analyzing two particular provisions: Geographic Exclusionary Areas (GEA) and the Community Preference policy. The team used a spatial regression discontinuity design to understand the impact of the 2008 expansion of the GEA boundary and increases in community set-asides on racial segregation. The findings and policy implications detailed in the final report are particularly relevant for current policy makers, as the Section 421a program is up for legislative renewal in 2022.