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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room

Mayor's Office Press Release #61-03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 28, 2003

Press Contacts:
Ed Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958

MAYOR Michael R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law

"The next bill before me is Introductory number 283-A, sponsored at my request by Council Members Provenzano, Comrie, Diaz, Felder, Fidler, Nelson, Sears, Stewart and Weprin. Intro. 283-A extends the 488-A tax benefit program from December 31, 2002 to December 31, 2007. The 488-A program, which is modeled after the J-51 program, provides owners of single room occupancy buildings, or SROs, with tax abatement and exemptions for improving and rehabilitating their properties. The tax incentives encourage owners of SROs to replace heating, wiring, and plumbing systems that may be old, faulty, or inefficient, and to make more comprehensive rehabilitations as warranted.

"The 488-A program was created to protect the dwindling supply of SROs, which provide viable housing options to many low-income New Yorkers. The program, in addition to spurring SRO improvements, protects low-income tenants from displacement. Rent increases based on the cost of improvements are prohibited, unless the improvements are funded by a government loan, in which case the rents are regulated by HPD and rental assistance is provided as available. By extending the 488-A program, we will help to preserve and improve low-income housing units.

"This bill demonstrates our continuing commitment to increase and improve the City's housing stock, and to protect the housing options available to low-income New Yorkers.

"I again congratulate the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Council Member Provenzano, and all who helped pass this important piece of legislation."




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