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Queens lawmakers’ affordable housing legislation signed into law

Oct. 27, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into a law a legislation authorizing a tax abatement program to provide improvements to affordable housing on Monday, Oct. 23. The legislation was sponsored by Queens state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Edward Braunstein.

This legislation is meant to improve upon the J-51 Tax Abatement Program, which provided a property tax discount for co-ops and condos that needed to make certain capital improvements, while also helping to offset costs. The J-51 Program expired on June 29, 2022.

The J-51 Affordable Housing Rehabilitation Legislation improves upon the program by increasing the threshold for eligible co-ops from $35,000 per unit of assessed valuation to $45,000. As a result, the new statute significantly expands the number of co-ops and condos that can take advantage of this program.

“This legislation provides a new and improved J-51 tax abatement. This program helps co-ops and condos, which have been squeezed by local laws, taxes and regulations, make repairs and modernize their buildings, improving safety and environmental issues for their residents,” Stavisky said. “This law will allow more middle class co-ops and condos to make capital improvement upgrades ranging from heating systems and plumbing, to windows, elevators and more. I would like to thank my colleague, Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, for his hard work on this legislation and Gov. Hochul for signing it into law.”

“As middle-class co-op and condo owners – many of whom are seniors on a fixed income or young families – grapple with a rising cost of living, it is imperative that New York State does its part to alleviate the burden,” Braunstein added. “With the new Affordable Housing Rehabilitation Program, formerly known as J-51, I fought hard to raise the assessed value threshold, allowing even more co-ops to qualify for this cost-saving program, which in turn will hold down maintenance costs. I want to thank the Mayor’s Office for working with me on the bill, Governor Hochul for signing it into law and Senator Stavisky for partnering to see through its passage.”

The revamped J-51 program is retroactive to work done after the previous program’s expiration, on June 30, 2022. It will apply to work done through June 29th of 2026.

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