UPDATE – Governor’s Conversion Plan: Commercial to ResidentialJune 10, 2021
Herrick’s Land Use & Zoning Team has learned that New York lawmakers are slated to approve legislation that would facilitate the conversion of distressed hotels and other commercial buildings into affordable housing. This bill is different from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal earlier this year, which would have also allowed conversions but with a smaller set-aside for affordable housing and did not require converted properties to be owned, operated and managed by nonprofit organizations.
The legislation, known as the “Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act,” would create a mechanism for the state’s housing agency to finance the acquisition and conversion of distressed hotels and vacant office buildings by non-profit organizations, using $100 million set aside in this year’s state budget.
The bill requires that the housing created be for low-income households and the formerly homeless. Specifically, at least half of new units in a given building must be set aside for homeless individuals. The other half would be for people making up to 80 percent of area median income, or $85,920 for a family of three in New York City, as long as the average income of all tenants in the building doesn’t exceed 50 percent of AMI, or $53,700 for a family of three in the city.
Projects in the five boroughs would also be subject to prevailing wage requirements for building service workers, except supportive housing developments and certain small properties, and be rent-stabilized in localities that have rent-regulation.
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