Wage Requirement for Construction Workers

Wage Requirement for Construction Workers

Affordable New York, the new 421a program, has specific wage requirement for construction workers working on projects receiving tax benefits.

Wage Requirements for Three Enhanced Affordability Areas

The 3 enhanced affordability areas cover:

1) Manhattan south of 96th Street;

2) Community Boards 1 and 2 in Brooklyn and within 1 mile of the bulkhead line; and

3) Community Boards 1 and 2 in Queens and within 1 mile of the bulkhead line.

In addition to compliance with rent stabilization requirements, developers of buildings in these areas with 300 or more rental units must pay construction workers a specific average hourly wage. The wage requirement is $60 per hour in Manhattan and $45 per hour in Brooklyn or Queens. To calculate average wage, divide the total of all wages and fringe benefits paid to construction workers by the total number of hours of construction work. This requirement also contains many other details.

First, developers are required to hire a certified public accountant (CPA) as an independent monitor to collect wage reports from each contractor and sub-contractor. They must submit these reports within 90 days of construction completion. Then, no later than one year after construction completion, the independent monitor must submit a certified project-wide payroll report to the New York City comptroller. Finally, this report must include total hours, total wages, the average hourly wage and amounts of any deficiency. The developer and contractor(s) must timely submit the report or there is a $1,000 fine per week, up to $75,000.

Additional penalties apply if the wages paid are found deficient.


Wage requirements do not apply to buildings:

  1. With more than 50% of affordable units; or
  2.  If there is a project labor agreement.