Inside Edge: the future of J-51

June 15, 2012

The New York State law that authorizes the J-51 tax incentive program expired on December 31, 2011. This ended the authority of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to issue new benefits, and it has thus taken no J-51 applications since then.

In the past renewal of J-51 has been virtually automatic. However the current attempt at renewal has been delayed due to questions relating to the cost of the program, outdated benefit schedules, concerns about processing inefficiency and rent stabilization issues.

As of last week HPD has put forward a proposal to address the renewal and its related problems. The City’s proposal makes substantial changes in the program, which are among the most sweeping in years. It proposes to:

• reduce the cost of the program by removing condominium and cooperative housing from eligibility;
• improve the benefit schedule by increasing the benefit allowance for many items;
• and improve processing efficiency by eliminating benefit items that are not system-wide and by mandating electronic applications.

In this Inside Edge we discuss how HPD’s proposed solutions address these problems and what alternatives there might be. You can download the pdf here or click on the link below to view and print the Inside Edge.