New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman reached settlement agreements on Wednesday with a New York City landlord and three developers who received tax incentives under the city's 421-a program.
The program, part of the Real Property Tax Law, promotes development of affordable housing in New York City.
The landlord and developers include: 150 Fourth Ave. LLC in Brooklyn; Tuhsur Development LLC and B&S Management LLC in Queens; and Staten Island's Montgomery Development Associates LLC.
As part of the settlement, the defendants will pay more than $460,000 in back wages to construction workers at two building sites, add two dozen rental units in four buildings to the city's rent regulation registry and pay more than $150,000 in restitution to the city.
“Tax breaks offered to developers and landlords are not freebies," Schneiderman said. "They come with legal obligations to New York taxpayers – ones that developers and landlords agree to abide by when they accept the tax incentives. My office is dedicated to ensuring that everyone plays by the rules. In this case, that means holding accountable those who accept lucrative tax exemptions and then ignore their responsibilities, including paying required wages to building service employees and providing rent-stabilized leases to New York families.”
The settlements are part of an ongoing investigation by the attorney general's office of developers and landlords who fail to follow the rules of the 421-a program.
“We need to get the most out of every dollar we spend, and it is vital that the people with whom we do business treat their workers fairly and deliver the affordable housing they promise,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We won’t stand for anything less. We are deeply grateful to Attorney General Schneiderman for recouping back wages and protecting the affordability of dozens of apartments. We look forward to working together to build and preserve more affordable housing in every community."