Nearly $10 Million Recouped from Owners Who Violated Tax Programs
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced the initial financing for nearly 600 new low-income apartments across the city, paid for by $10 million in settlements with property owners who violated the law. The new homes will serve formerly homeless New Yorkers, low-income families, veterans, seniors, and people with mental health and substance abuse challenges.
The settlement money results from investigations spearheaded by the Attorney General into abuses of tax incentive programs. The $9.8 million includes restitutions paid by owners who failed to provide the rent-regulated leases their tenants deserved, violated tenant rights laws and denied service workers the required prevailing wage.
The joint investigations began in 2014, uncovering violations of tax exemption and abatement programs, including illegal deregulation of rent-stabilized units, violations of tenant rights laws, and failure to provide rent-regulated leases. This included restitution paid by 23 property owners for their failure to register apartments with the state’s Department of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and/or to comply with 421-a prevailing wage requirements for service workers in over 31 New York City properties. In addition to the payment of restitution and as part of the legal case against them, the owners were required to properly register their properties and to provide tenants with proper regulated leases.