Serrano Moves To Fill Vacant Lots

José M. Serrano

January 16, 2008

Senator Serrano, along with community leaders and local elected officials, pledged to put an end to the problem of vacant lots in Manhattan, during a press conference on Wednesday.

The Senator discussed legislation he and Assemblyman Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr. have introduced in Albany to change existing tax loopholes. The legislation would bring taxes on vacant property in Upper Manhattan into line with those below 110th Street. It would spur development of land that is increasingly needed to ease the city's housing crisis.

"Current tax policy gives landowners no financial reason to put their uptown properties into active use," Senator Serrano said. "This has frustrated efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and create affordable housing. It's time to close the loophole and move forward improving our community."

Working in conjunction with Borough President Stringer and Councilmembers David Yassky and Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senator Serrano said he will also continue to advocate for city policies that encourage the development of affordable housing.

"Affordable housing is crucial to maintaining the diverse and vibrant fabric of this city," said Senator Serrano. "This legislation is only a first step. We need to ensure that the developers who want to use this land have every possible incentive to build affordable."