CNYC
Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
 
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Posted: June 6, 2024

BREAKING NEWS! POTENTIAL TAX RELIEF FOR LL97 AND ACCESS AGREEMENT HELP

PLEASE ASK YOUR ALBANY LAW MAKERS TO VOTE TO PASS THESE TWO IMPORTANT BILLS TODAY

Today is the final scheduled day for the New York State Legislature to meet in 2024, though they may stay on for a day or two to pass the heavy load of last-minute bills.   CNYC seeks your help to ensure that two of these bills become law.  

POTENTIAL TAX RELIEF FOR ALL CO-OPS AND CONDOS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH LL97:
EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT FOR A.10536 / S.09852

Your board and as many shareholders and unit owners as you can reach are urged to contact their assembly member and senator today to express their support of A.10536/S.09852, sponsored by Assembly Member Braunstein and Senator Parker.   If passed, this legislation would establish an abatement and exemption for all “covered buildings” as defined by Section 320.1 of New York City’s administrative code, that that undertake any of the following capital improvements between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2029 to reduce carbon emissions:

  1. Full or partial building electrification
  2. Building envelope improvements
  3. The installation of onsite clean energy generation, storage or electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  4. Or other measures that reduce energy consumption as determined by local law.

Although this currently only applies to co-ops and condos of 25,000 square feet or larger, it is possible that smaller buildings, particularly those of 10,000 – 25,000 square feet, will be added to the covered buildings list before 2029. Therefore, we encourage shareholders and unit owners in smaller buildings to support this bill as well.

CNYC thanks Assembly Member Braunstein and Senator Parker for persisting in the fight to obtain financial relief for Co-ops and Condos

PLEASE SUPPORT A.1321 WHICHWILL HELP RESOLVE DELAYS
IN WORK HELD UP BY ACCESS ISSUES

CNYC thanks Assembly Member Rajkumar and Senator Comrie for introducing legislation designed to make it easier for buildings seeking to perform repairs or make improvements to the exterior of their buildings to gain access to adjoining buildings.  Senator Comrie’s S.1305 has already passed the Senate.   Please ask your Assembly Member to vote to pass A.1321, explaining how this legislation will help your cooperative/condominium complete necessary building work expeditiously.

FIND YOUR ASSEMBLYPERSON TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR A.10536 and A.1321
https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/

FIND YOUR SENATOR TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR S.09852
https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator

For more information on this bill and our efforts to mitigate the costs of LL97 Compliance and what you can do to help, please visit our website, www.CNYC.coop.


Posted: June 3, 2024

Please Help CNYC Advance Practical Concerns About LL97 Requirements

Contribute to CNYC’s Survey on “The Economics of Retrofitting and Electrifying Co-ops and Condos to Meet LL97’s Statutory Goals”

CNYC is working on multiple fronts to obtain incentives, rebates and mitigation of penalties (fines) for co-ops and condos that must comply with Section 320 of LL97.  This   law requires that NYC buildings of 25,000 square feet or more reduce their 2005 carbon footprint by 80% by the year 2050 to combat climate change and promote cleaner air in our City.  At five year intervals,  beginning with data from this year, buildings that don’t meet carbon reduction compliance requirements face steep fines.

CNYC has long advised affected members to consider LL97 in all of their planning for their building and to work incrementally to meet the 2050 goal and to avoid fines along the way.

HIGH COST OF ELECTRIFICATION
Based on our discussions with members, it appears a large percentage of co-ops and condos are being advised to retrofit and electrify at some point between 2030 and 2040, generally at a cost that well exceeds $1 million, and without an eye towards the remaining useful life of their existing space heating / cooling / domestic hot water heating equipment. This is particularly true of buildings that received LCCP audits.

CNYC is undertaking the development of a survey on “The Economics of Retrofitting and Electrifying Co-ops and Condos to Meet LL97’s Statutory Goals” to pinpoint the specific hardships and financial concerns faced by co-ops and condos required to comply with Section 320 of LL97. To contribute to our Survey, please forward your most recent LCCP or FlexTech Audit to Rebecca Poole at poole@CNYC.coop, OR submit your information through Survey Monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6WPCNLG. All information provided will be presented in the aggregate and your building will be assigned a non-identifiable number, as CNYC does in the comparative study.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
The Survey will be used to augment and strengthen CNYC’s position that the Department of Building’s rule making for Local Law 97 must consider all of the following points; failure to do so places an unfair and unreasonable burden on co-op and condo homeowners: 

  1. the current (and projected) cost of electrification, including work needed to increase building-wide and unit capacity,
  2. current projected retrofit costs and their impact on individual shareholders and unit owners,
  3. the remaining useful life of existing equipment and systems replaced early to comply with statutory regulations,
  4. the unknown characteristic of the useful life and effectiveness of recently introduced products,
  5. the unknown aspect of the future capacity of the grid year to year, and
  6. the unknown aspect of how clean the grid will be from year to year

We will share information about the completed survey and possible pilot programs, incentives, rebates, and penalty mitigation as they become available. Thanks in advance for your assistance with this important survey.

STILL USING #4 OIL?    -- PLEASE TELL CNYC
Separately, if your building is still on #4 oil and you have not yet entered a contract to replace the boiler, please advise poole@cnyc.coop.

Please contact Rebecca Poole at poole@cnyc.coop with any questions.


Posted: May 21, 2024

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IN EFFORTS
TO EXEMPT COOPERATIVES & CONDOMINIUMS
FROM THE CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY ACT

Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) in 2021 for the stated purpose of curbing racketeering and money laundering.  It requires that business entities that file with the Secretary of State, have fewer than 20 employees, and have budgets under $5 million  must register online reporting specific information about the Beneficial Owners of the entity and must update this filing within 30 days of any changes or face stiff penalties.   Existing businesses must file by January 1, 2025.

The ’Beneficial Owners’ of housing cooperatives, condominiums and homeowner associations would surely be the officers of the board -- and should probably include all board members.   Given the frequency of changes on boards, the compliance requirement becomes onerous. 

WE ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO FILE
Last fall, CNYC alerted members to this requirement as we tried – along with other organizations – to exempt cooperatives, condominiums and homeowner associations from the CTA filing requirements.  There was already a list of exempted entities, and we believed it reasonable to include resident owned homes in that exemption list, but we were unsuccessful.   On April 18, 2024, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a new FAQ stating that homeowner associations are required to file their Beneficial Owner Information (homeowner associations being the generic term that includes cooperatives and condominiums).  With this setback, legislative action is now required if we are to secure this exemption. 

PLEASE ASK YOUR LAW MAKERS FOR EXEMPTION LEGISLATION
We are calling on all New York housing cooperatives and condominiums to contact their U.S. Senators and Members of Congress today to ask lawmakers to introduce legislation to exempt housing cooperatives, condominiums and homeowner associations from  inclusion in the Corporate Transparency Act, and to support legislation that delays CTA compliance (in order to have the exemption legislation passed).

Please go to democracy.io, type in your name and address and you will be directed to links to e-mail your senators and representative. Send them your version of the following message:
"We are homeowners and do not engage in terrorist activity nor money laundering. Please introduce legislation to exempt housing cooperatives, condominiums and homeowner associations from the onerous reporting requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act and support legislation that delays the date of CTA compliance."

Please do this today and recruit similar messages from your friends and neighbors.


Posted: May 21, 2024


Posted: May 2, 2024

PROPERTY TAX REFORM EFFORTS FOR NYC

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein has introduced a bill in the NYS Assembly which would require NYC to consider property tax reform that “promotes fairness, clarity, and simplicity; that eliminates structural inequality and taxes similar properties similarly; that encourages the development and preservation of affordable and multifamily housing; that includes owner relief programs and an approach to transition that insures low-and moderate-income owners have affordable tax bills and that primary residents are not displaced from their homes; and that does not diminish revenue for the city of New York.” (A.9879) The structure of the bill calls for the establishment of a temporary state commission on New York city property tax reform. If passed, Mayor Adams would be required to present a plan for reform, that responds to the guidelines above, on or before August 31, 2024. The Mayor’s plan would need to follow the recommendations of the last New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, and explain any deviations. CNYC will track this bill and intends to be an active voice throughout the process to ensure that cooperative and condominium homeowners are treated equitably, that our contribution to the City is noted, and that the financial viability of our homes is protected, ensuring that all shareholders and unit owners are able to continue to afford to remain in their homes.

CNYC has long crusaded for a property tax system that would be fair and equitable and easy to understand.  CNYC testified on the 10 Recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform at a City Council Hearing in November of 2022. A summary of our testimony follows. The full testimony is available by emailing our office at info@cnyc.coop.

SUMMARY OF CNYC’s TESTIMONY ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ADVISORY COMMISSION ON PROPERTY TAX REFORM

In 1990, CNYC formed the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes to crusade for fairness in New York City’s complicated property tax system.  Since 1990 CNYC and the Action Committee have participated in every examination of the City’s property tax system, seeking fair taxation for all NYC taxpayers. The Action Committee advocates for a clear and simple property tax system, with two classes of property, one residential and one commercial.  We suggest that the two classes be inextricably linked by a fixed ratio governing tax increases on the two property classes.   We suggest that this ratio be 1:2.

Advisory Commission Recommendation ONE - One Residential Class for Home Owners
CNYC fully supports the creation of one residential class all home owners, those in 1-3 family homes as well as cooperatives and condominiums.   We understand the situation of very small rental buildings that are often the homes of their owner and agree provisionally with their inclusion in this category, with the understanding that this issue should be tagged for future review.

Advisory Commission Recommendations TWO and THREE – Changing Methodology for Assessments
CNYC is intrigued at the suggestion of a sales-based methodology to value all properties, but we wonder how this can be accomplished.  What will be the methodology for determining fair market value?   Shall individual units in cooperatives and condominiums be evaluated based on improvements, etc.?   If so, will that require individual block and lot numbers for cooperative apartments with the cooperative still responsible for the overall tax bill?   Can the present resources of the Department of Finance accomplish this?

Advisory Commission Recommendation FOUR – Establishing a Plan to Phase in Changes
CNYC suggests a 10-year phase-in rather than five years as this seems more fair to the homes whose taxes would increase significantly.  We agree that Assessed Value Growth Caps skew any system and should be eliminated.

Advisory Commission Recommendation FIVE – Establishing a Partial Homestead Exemption Based on Income Thresholds
Every New York City homeowner for whom their house, condominium or cooperative is their primary residence should receive a significant homestead exemption.   Purchasing a home and paying taxes in New York City is a commitment to our city.   We welcome discussion on gradations in the percentage of this exemption, similar to those instituted in the Coop-Condo Abatement program in 2013.

Advisory Commission Recommendation SIX – Establishing Circuit Breakers to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners
CNYC strongly supports circuit breakers.  Once we have a uniform, clearly understandable assessment system in place, circuit breakers provide a means of leveling the playing field for long term New Yorkers who are ‘real estate rich’ but subsisting on fixed incomes or meager savings, for individuals with special needs or those providing special service.  All the current circuit breakers should also remain in place.  And more could be added to help low- and moderate- income individuals,  families with small children, and to otherwise promote social justice.
           
Advisory Commission Recommendation SEVEN - Freeze the relationship of tax rates among the tax classes for five-year periods, then conduct a periodic review
CNYC respectfully suggests that the four-class system from S.7000-A has long since outlived its usefulness.   We propose instead a two-class system, one residential and the other commercial, with a ratio of 1:2 governing increases in their taxes.   We concur that a review five years into the implementation of this comprehensive property tax reform should help determine whether this ratio is the correct one. That review should also explore whether it has been effective and beneficial to include small rentals in the residential class.
                       
Advisory Commission Recommendation EIGHT – Maintain Current Evaluation Methods for Commercial Properties
CNYC agrees that current evaluation methods are appropriate, but proposes that all commercial properties be grouped into one class as we have described.

Advisory Commission Recommendation NINE – A gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition whenever a property in the new residential class is sold
This ‘welcome stranger’ approach seems very challenging to implement in a co-op or condo situation, and unfriendly at best towards new NYC homeowners.   We strongly urge that it be dropped.

Advisory Commission Recommendation TEN – Undertake a comprehensive review of the property tax system every 10 years.
CNYC concurs. 


Posted: April 23, 2024

CNYC IN-PERSON ANNUAL MEETING & ELECTION
Hearty Thanks to the City Agencies Representatives
Who Patiently Answered our Questions

After four years exclusively on Zoom, CNYC held its 2024 Annual Meeting in person on Wednesday evening April 17th.  During the networking Meet & Greet period at the beginning of the evening, participants were able to get to know one another and to talk with representatives of the Department of Finance, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Buildings -- Sustainability, the NYC Accelerator and the City Council.   During the formal portion of the meeting there were reports on issues important to CNYC members,  followed by the election in which all the incumbents were returned to office. 

CO-OP AND CONDO COMMMUNITIES ARE A VITAL PART OF NYC

Co-ops and condos are a major part of NYC life, providing both home and community for shareholders and unit owners.  But our influence flows outward.   Successful co-ops and condos help anchor neighborhoods and drive amenities, schooling options, parks, and more. There is no doubt that co-ops and condos have helped build, stabilize, and empower most areas in NYC by bringing our social and civic engagement, and financial investment to the table. Isn’t it time that our communities were celebrated, our contributions were recognized, and our needs were considered? We can make that happen by working together.
CNYC asks you to share your story. Members of our “Cooperatives and Condominiums are Communities” committee developed an easy tag line, “Only in a Co-op” (or obviously, “Only in a Condo”) to use on social media with the hope of amplifying the benefits of living in a co-op/condo, showing off what we’ve contributed to our larger neighborhoods, and discussing the hardships we now face.
Please consider preparing a short video (30 seconds-2 minutes) that supports one of the following categories – or create a category of your own.

  • The strong sense of community in your co-op/condo – We’re all in this together!
  • What it means to have a shared investment – How you consider the needs and means of your fellow shareholders / unit owners.
  • How shareholders/unit owners look out for each other and share events – holiday celebrations, observances, BBQs, pot luck dinners, etc.
  • How shareholders / unit owners contribute to the success of the co-op / condo
  • How increased in housing costs / compliance impacts all of the shareholders / unit owners in your co-op / condo

Please forward your short video for the “Cooperatives and Condominiums are Communities” committee to Rebecca Poole at poole@CNYC.coop. Then follow, like and share our social media content to ensure our voice is heard.

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FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FLOOD PREVENTION
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

As a follow up to the Annual Meeting, CNYC is pleased to announce that we will host a webinar on flooding for impacted cooperatives and condominiums. Information and the date will be forthcoming, but in the meantime feel free to reach out to us at poole@CNYC.coop if you have flooding problems or specific questions.
The Department of Environmental Protection encourages co-ops and condos located in an area at risk of flooding to apply for a grant under the PREP Risk Assessment and Grant Program.  More information can be found on this flyer. While this flyer focuses on businesses, CNYC has been assured that co-ops and condos should apply.  You may check the NYC Flood Hazard Mapper or the NYC Stormwater Resiliency Maps to see if your building would qualify based on location.


Posted: March 28, 2024

URGENT ACTION ALERT:

ENSURE YOUR CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE
SIGNS ON TO RESOLUTION 0277-2024

WHICH SUPPORTS PASSAGE OF A.5050 / S.943-A
A TAX-ABATEMENT FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS

STRESS IT MUST COVER YOUR BUILDING!

CNYC urges members to contact their City Council representatives to ask that they co-sponsor, support, and vote in favor of resolution 0277-2024, which calls on the State Legislature to pass A.5050 / S.943-A.

A.5050 / S.943-A, introduced by Assemblyperson Braunstein and State Senator Parker, would establish a real estate tax abatement to help offset the cost of capital projects that reduce carbon emissions and bring buildings into compliance with LL97. The amount of the abatement would depend on the percentage that the project decreases carbon emissions.

There is no doubt tax abatements would increase the affordability of LL97 compliance for many co-ops and condos. CNYC seeks your help to ensure that all cooperatives and condominiums that have to comply with Local Law 97 are eligible for this abatement program.  Particularly if your building’s assessed value exceeds $45,000 per unit, we highly recommend you ask your City Council person not only to co-sponsor 0277-2024, but to ensure that all co-ops and condos that are required to comply with LL97 remain eligible.

HERE and also written out below is a sample letter you can tailor for your building and send to your city council member. It is critical that all City Council members understand the need for funding to help with LL97 compliance, and the issues we are facing regarding general affordability. Please take the time to send the letter. Please also forward it to any other co-op or condo boards that you know.

You can find your City Council Member’s contact details at: https://council.nyc.gov/districts/

LETTERHEAD OF YOUR CO-OP / CONDO

Dear Council Member _________,

I am a board member of _______________________ (name of corporation or association), a housing (cooperative / condominium) in your district. I am writing on behalf of the _____ (number of units) families that have chosen to invest their savings in our building and our community by purchasing and making their home in our (cooperative/condominium). We are all committed to New York City and our collective future.

We are writing to ask your support for Resolution 0277-2024, which calls on NYS to pass A.5050/S.943-A, introduced by Assemblymember Braunstein and State Senator Parker. Our cooperative/condominium is subject to (If applicable add - Section 320 of) Local Law 97. The work required to bring us into compliance with our reduced emission standards between 2030 and 2050 could cost us $______, based on our energy audit.  That amounts to approximately $_____ for each family that is a homeowner in our building. The tax rebates provided by A.5050/S.943-A would help offset these costs and help make the work feasible. Without assistance the cost of compliance will price a percentage of our homeowners out of their homes. (If applicable add- Our building’s assessed value per unit is above $45,000 / unit, and we also urgently seek your help in ensuring we will be entitled to this needed tax abatement. NOTE: For co-ops - Your building’s tentative assessed value for 2024/25 can be found on your bill under “Taxable/Billable Assessed Value” You will then need to divide this number by the number of units in your building.)

In addition to LL97, our building has had to comply with (If applicable insert– FISP, LL152-gas piping inspection and LL126-parking garage inspection) at a substantial cost to all the families in our building.  Between the required capital work, increased real estate taxes and the tremendous increase in insurance premiums, our monthly housing costs have already increased by _____% over the past ____ year(s).

Please take into account the many long-term homeowners in our building that are middle class workers, young families, and retired seniors. Co-sponsor resolution 0277-2024 to ensure quickly it passes the City Council and insist A.5050/S.943-A covers our building.

Thank you for your consideration.

Your name and Board position

 

DELIQUENT WATER & SEWER BILL:
THE CITY TRIED A CARROT, NOW THE STICK!

After offering amnesty for water bill delinquents with considerable success, but without recovering all past due funds,  New York City has initiated the next phase of its expanded collection enforcement actions.   ‘Water Shutoff Notices’  will be sent stating that water service to their property could be shut off unless the entire owed amount is paid or the buildings enter into a payment agreement. If this applies to you, more information can be found here: https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/211-24/mayor-adams-demands-water-bill-dodgers-pay-debt-risk-losing-water-access#/0

TWO INFORMATIVE FREE APRIL CNYC EVENTS

Wednesday, April 3 at 6pm on Zoom: CNYC’S ROUNDTABLE SERIES will feature attorneys Bruce Cholst and Ron Gold, compliance expert Jessica Tusing, property management expert Michael Wolfe, and insurance brokers Neil Valsangkar and Sophie Bird. If you have a question pertaining to your co-op or condo, send it in, and then sign-on and hear it answered.

Wednesday, April 17 at 6pm IN PERSON at 20 West 44th Street: CNYC’s Annual Meeting will feature tables with representatives from Department of Finance, Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Accelerator, the NYC City Council and more. Come at 6pm to get guidance on issues you may have with compliance, taxes, flooding, FISP or LL97, and then stay for our updates and election.


Posted: March 8, 2024

ENSURING PROPER SQUARE FOOT CALCULATIONS FOR YOUR LL97 FILING
A
"DO NOW MUST!" FOR BUILDNGS WITHOUT PLANS

Local Law 97 carbon reduction thresholds are based on calculations derived from the square footage for each property type in your co-op or condo (e.g. apartments, retail space, grocery store, etc. – each with a different carbon coefficient). Since emissions are allowed for each square foot, it makes sense to measure every square foot and include it in your filing. The square foot information found in the Department of Finance’s tax records (which the Department of Buildings uses ONLY to determine if your building is subject to LL97) does not provide an accurate representation of ALL the space in your building that qualifies for LL97 carbon calculations. It was not intended to serve that purpose. Using that number in your benchmarking is likely to result in a low emissions threshold and a higher than necessary fine.

If you have architectural drawings for your building, the Registered Design Professional (RDP) whom you hire to file your May 1, 2025 Local Law 97 Report will be able to use those to calculate your square footage by property type and attest that it is correct.  However, if your building does not have drawings, it will be very difficult for an RDP to calculate and attest to your reported square footage by property type. If you choose to file your LL97 report without preparing a detailed survey, you and your RDP may risk submitting an unsubstantiated number, and you could be hit with substantial fines if your calculations are inaccurate.

The RDP must be a professional engineers (PE) or a registered architects (RA). These professionals  will face a growing influx of work next spring as the filing deadline approaches. Therefore, we recommend you investigate obtaining a survey now, and/or ask your RPD what they will need to accurately calculate and attest to your square footage per property type. It is likely that you will find the work less costly and easier to obtain if you begin your search immediately.

LOCAL LAW 88 -- LIGHTING REMINDER

To demonstrate compliance with Local Law 88, all covered buildings will be required to submit proof before the end of the year that they modified or replaced all common area lighting systems as mandated by the law. The upgraded systems must meet City standards for maximum interior lighting power allowances, lighting controls (interior lighting controls, light reduction controls and automatic lighting shutoff), tandem wiring, exit signs, and exterior lighting as found in section 805 of the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). The upgrade, which needs to have been completed only once between the effective date of Local Law 88  and December 31, 2024, must be shown to have met the existing NYCECC at the time of the upgrade.

MORE LOCAL LAW 88 - LARGE COMMERCIAL TENANTS MUST BE SUBMETERED

In addition to updating lighting systems, any covered buildings with: (1) non-residential tenant space of 10,000 gross square feet or more, on one of more floors let, or sublet, to the same tenant, or (2) non-residential tenant space in excess of 10,000 gross square feet on one floor, must sub-meter these spaces. Tenants in sub-metered spaces must be provided with a monthly statement showing the amount of electricity measured by the sub-meter and any amount charged to the tenant for electricity. 

TWO REPORTS  IF YOU SUBMETER COMMERCIAL SPACE

Buildings must file two separate reports to show compliance, one certifying that the lighting upgrades are complete and the other confirming the sub-meter installations. These reports must be prepared by an RPD  or  a licensed master or special electrician. They must then be filed by the building owner with the NYC Department of Buildings on or prior to January 1, 2025.

If you have not already completed your upgrades, and/or you have not engaged an RDP, or properly licensed electrician, you should do so immediately. Con Edison’s incentives for Common Area Lighting products are due to end soon. Time is of the essence.

 


Posted: March 3, 2024

BENCHMARKING REMINDER

Every year, NYC Buildings of 25,000 square feet or greater must annually file benchmarking reports on their use of fuel, water and electricity as required by Local Law 84. This benchmarking report on your 2023 data must be filed by May 1, 2024. Buildings of this size are also subject to the carbon reduction requirements in Local Law 97, where reports will be due on May 1, 2025.

If there are questions about whether your building is required to submit a benchmarking report and to comply with LL97, here is the Department of Buildings – Sustainability's new 2024 LL84 Covered Buildings List (CBL). Visit the Department of Building’s Sustainability website for additional information.

Con Edison’s revamped Building Energy Usage Portal is also live. If your building is on the CBL and your building is a Con Edison customer, your electrical data should have now been uploaded by Con Edison into the Portfolio Manager. Take the time now to review the uploads, and make sure they are accurate, and that the portal includes all your accounts.

NATURAL GAS ALARMS – INSTALLATION REQUIRED BY MAY 2025

The Department of Buildings (DOB) issued their final rule regarding the installation of Natural Gas Alarms in accordance with Local Law 157 of 2016, which amended the NYC Housing Maintenance Code and NYC Building Code to require: (1) the installation of natural gas detecting devices in residential buildings, and (2) the promulgation of a rule by DOB regarding the installation and location of such devices.  Please note the following guidelines:

(1) Installation Requirements

  • One or more natural gas alarms must be installed in every unit in all Class A multiple dwellings by May 1, 2025, excepting buildings that do not have natural gas piping or gas service.
  • Alarms must be manufactured in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) 715-2023.
  • If a fuel-gas-burning appliance is located in a dwelling unit, an alarm must be installed in the same room as the appliance and must be located between 3 and 10 feet from the appliance, measured horizontally. The alarm must be placed on the ceiling, or if on a wall, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling. EXCEPTION: If the space does not allow for the alarm to be placed more than 3 feet from the appliance, installation must be made in accordance with NFPA 715 or manufacturer requirements.
  • Alarms must be labeled with the name of the manufacturer
  • Alarms must be listed and labeled with either UL 1484 or UL 2075
  • Alarms must be kept in good working order

(2) Installer Qualifications: Natural Gas Alarms must be installed by a NYC licensed electrical contractor, who will obtain all permits UNLESS the alarms are powered by batteries or a plug-in AC receptacle, in which case they may be installed by other individuals, including the building owner, building maintenance personnel, or occupant of the dwelling unit.

It is important to keep records for the purchase and installation of all alarms, as well as any requests for repairs/replacements.

CONGESTION PRICING UPDATE

Following on our last E-Blast, shareholders and unit owners who live in the “Congestion Business District” – Manhattan South of 60th Street may want to follow up on their testimony to the MTA by joining CNYC member buildings in the affected area and signing their petition requesting the MTA gives further consideration to the impact congestion pricing will have on co-ops and condos in the zone, including increased ancillary costs and loss of income.

WATCH CNYC WEBINARS ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

CNYC has started posting videos on our YouTube Channel. More will follow shortly, including some that will be accessible only to members. Make sure you subscribe to @CNYC_1975 so receive notification when we add videos, AND check to ensure you’ve renewed your membership for 2024.

FOLLOW CNYC ON SOCIAL MEDIA
AND HELP BUILD OUR PRESCENCE THERE

Help CNYC successfully launch a greater presence on our social media platforms!   Please like, follow, and share @CNYC_1975 on Facebook, Instagram & TikTok.  We’re also on LinkedIn at Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums.

PARTICIPATE WITH A VIDEO

In an effort to broaden the audience for CNYC’s educational and advocacy platform, we want to tap into the conversations that are happening NOW!
CNYC welcomes your 1–2-minute video clips showcasing the community found in co-ops and condos, as well as exciting projects and upgrades.

Our first topic will be “Green Infrastructure.” If you want to participate, send a 1-2 minute clip sharing your cooperative or condominium’s latest GREEN infrastructure upgrade to: poole@CNYC.coop   Please include in subject line: GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE VIDEO and your condo/coop name.

Upon review, videos will be posted on CNYC’s TikTok Channel.


Posted: February 29, 2024

CONGESTION PRICING HEARINGS
AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT YOUR BUILDING’S VIEWS

Congestion pricing for New York City south of 60th Street was legislated in 2019 as a part of the State Budget Resolution to help fund the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) s capital plan.  The Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) was created and charged with establishing a program of tolls in the area to:

  1. ensure the MTA received the funding set in the legislation
  2. keep the base toll as low as possible
  3. avoid unnecessary traffic diversions
  4. establish a program that is easy to understand and administer.

The TMRB held three hearings while developing its plan, which it presented to the public in November of 2023.  Click here for the TMRB’s final report.  This opened a period for public comment on the congestion pricing structure. The comment period will close on March 11th. 

CONGESTION PRICING AFFECTS NEW YORKERS IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Congestion pricing will impact all City residents. Many will be pleased at the prospect of less traffic and cleaner air as well as the infusion of funds to improve public transportation.

Those who work in Manhattan south of 60th Street, or commute regularly to the area, will be directly affected by the cost associated with congestion pricing, and they will have to make decisions regarding the additional fees to drive south of 60th Street. Will this increase work-at-home days?  Or promote carpooling?  Or increase the use of public transportation? Or will it convince people to move or switch jobs? Will people who enjoy the theater, restaurants, and cultural opportunities in the area south of 60th Street be deterred by the additional cost?  Will this have an impact on the already struggling restaurants, local stores, and service businesses still trying to recover from the reduced office populations?

Compared to those that commute into the area, City residents that live in Manhattan south of 60th street, or immediately adjacent to the area, will most likely be disproportionately disadvantaged by the Congestion Pricing plan as proposed. Many of these people live in condominiums and cooperatives, which will find their costs increase for goods and services that are delivered via car or van or truck. Maintenance and repair costs, capital projects, building supplies, scaffolding installation can all be expected to rise as vendors add on the cost of the congestion pricing. Further, for those buildings with garages, there will most likely be a 15-20% decrease in garage revenue, matching the expected decline in traffic. Residents in the area will also be the most impacted if restaurants and stores are forced to close. To date past requests for concessions, such as the 90% reduction enjoyed by residents of the parallel zone in London, have been rejected.  There is still time to repeat these requests and to provide further information to the MTA regarding the potential economic impact on your building.

PRESENT YOUR VIEWS AT A PUBLIC HEARING OR SUBMIT THEM REMOTELY

Four public hearings are scheduled on Thursday, February 29th at 6 PM; Friday, March 1st at 10 AM, and Monday, March 4th at 10 AM and 6 PM in hybrid format in the MTA s William J. Ronan 20th Floor Boardroom at 2 Broadway in Manhattan.   Members of the public who wish to speak (for two minutes) must register in advance by calling the Hearing Hotline at (646)252-6777 or in person at the hearing. Registration is now open; it closes 30 minutes after the beginning of the hearing.  People may also register to participate remotely via Zoom or telephone. 
Your comments can be submitted in any of the following ways: 

  • Online: https://contact.mta.info/s/forms/CBDTP
  • Email: cbdtp.feedback@mtabt.org  
  • Mail: CBD Tolling Program, 2 Broadway, 23rd Floor, NY, NY 10004
  • Phone voicemail: 646-252-7440  
  • Fax: (212) 504-3148 labelled Attention to CBDTP Team.”   

Each public hearing will be livestreamed on the MTA YouTube channel and on the project website. Here s the official MTA page on How to comment on the proposed CBDTP Tolling Schedule.


Posted: January 23, 2024

CAPITAL PROJECTS IN YOUR PLANS?
HERE ARE ITEMS TO KEEP IN MIND

  1. NYS amended its “Prompt Payment Act” in 2023 changing the retainage requirements and final payment requests for all projects with an aggregate cost in excess of $150,000. Beginning on November 17, 2023, buildings cannot hold more than 5% of the contract sum in retainage, and contractors are allowed to submit their final invoice for payment in full upon reaching substantial completion, rather than final completion. Also note, that the law still requires final payment to be made within thirty (30) days of final approval of the work.
  2. It is important to file, post and distribute Tenant Protection Plans (TPPs) exactly as required by your specific job. Sign-offs by incorrect parties have delayed permits and necessary work.
  3. You need to be mindful of your insurance carrier’s requirements when bidding out any capital projects. It is a best practice for contractors to confirm that they have the required insurance in place during the bidding process. These requirements have shifted and some carriers are now checking the policies.

BID OUT YOUR INSURANCE EARLY THIS YEAR

Insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Insurance limits are decreasing. Exclusions are increasing. It is more important than ever to give yourself time to obtain and review proposals when your insurance is up for renewal. Make sure you’re on top of those dates – Getting loss runs, selecting brokers, and determining which carriers will submit bids for your building takes time.

‘FAIR CHANCE HOUSING’ ACT WILL LIMIT ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY

In the final days of the last City Council session the Fair Chance Housing Act was passed.  It doesn’t allow boards to consider criminal history of an admissions candidate until ready to accept that candidate based on their application where no criminal history information can legally be requested.  Once ready to accept a candidate, the board can then seek information on any misdemeanors committed within three years of release or felonies committed within five years of release.  The act takes effect on January 1, 2025 and it does indemnify building owners (and therefore boards) from liability for misconduct by the resident.  To help buildings review their admissions policies to ensure they conform with new regulations. CNYC is planning classes admissions policy, procedures and applications in the near future.

ALERT SHAREHOLDERS/UNIT OWNERS TO LOOK OUT FOR DOF LETTERS

As we’ve warned before, the new City budget includes a line for $7.5 million to be recouped from co-op-condo tax abatements purportedly given to shareholders/unit owners who have claimed the abatement despite not using their apartment as their primary residence. The City will be determining this by mailing affidavits to shareholders / unit owners whose residency status they question. It is urgent that those shareholders / unit owners respond to the mailing. We advise that you let your residents know that they should keep an eye out for this mailing.

NYU & NYLCV SEEK YOUR PARTICIPATION IN A LOCAL LAW 97 SURVEY

The New York League of Conservation Voters has teamed up with a group of New York University students to research issues cooperatives and condominiums have faced in approaching LL97 compliance.  They have prepared a short survey to help them better understand the difficulties and possibilities involved in various carbon reduction projects.  They will use this information to recommend policy changes to the City.   To take their short survey, please click HERE.  If you have questions, please e-mail Rebecca Poole at poole@cnyc.coop.


Posted: January 2, 2024


Posted: December 19, 2023

HELP REFOCUS NYSERDA INCENTIVES
ON HOMEOWNERS IN CO-OPS AND CONDOS

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) distributes funds for energy improvements and is currently charged with distributing New York State’s share of the Federal Inflation Recovery Act (IRA) Funds. NYSERDA has developed two programs focused on funding energy improvements and electrification projects in affordable housing. CNYC has testified at a recent hearing on these programs, requesting that they be revised to enable individual home owners in cooperatives and condominiums to qualify for these NYSERDA programs.

NYSERDA’s current guidelines require that 50% of all (shareholders / unit owners) qualify based on the area median income (AMI). While this requirement makes sense when giving rebates to landlords of rental buildings - to enable landlords to perform energy efficiency work without needing to raise rent at a building where 50% of the renters are low-moderate income - it does not make sense for a cooperative or condominium, where the individual owners are all paying for their full portion of the upgrade.

CNYC has requested that NYSERDA revise its rules to individual lower income shareholders and unit owners in cooperatives and condominiums be able to access these programs as individuals, just as the owner of a private home can do. Without this resource, many seniors and lower income shareholders and unit owners could be forced from their homes by the increased cost of Local Law 97 compliance.

NYSERDA is accepting comments thru 4 PM tomorrow, Wednesday, December 20th. Please support our effort to expand availability of NYSERDA incentives by sending your own version of the sample letter that follows to residential.ira@NYSERDA.ny.gov. Click here for a WORD version of the letter.

 

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear NYSERDA,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your proposed distribution of IRA funds through the Home Energy Rebate Programs.

I am a __________ (board member / shareholder / unit owner / energy committee member) of a NYC cooperative / condominium, ____________ (name of co-op/condo) located at ______________________ (address). My building is home to ______ (number of units) co-op / condo home owners. We will need to comply with Local Law 97.
Please specify any energy efficiency or carbon reduction work your building has already done, or is considering, or has priced out - or what your anticipated fines will be. These costs will be difficult for some of my fellow shareholder/unit owners to handle. You can speak about other increases you have faced due to increased compliance requirements over the past few years.

It appears that home owners in buildings like my (co-op / condo) may not qualify for rebates through the H.E.R. and H.E.A.R. programs because in addition to each (shareholder / unit owner) individually meeting AMI requirements, the guidelines require that 50% of all (shareholders / unit owners) qualify based on their AMI. While this requirement makes sense when giving rebates to landlords of rental buildings - to help ensure landlords can perform energy efficiency work without needing to raise rent at a building where 50% of the renters are low-moderate income - it does not make sense for a cooperative or condominium, where the individual owners are all paying for their full portion of the upgrade. It is essential that you recognize the unique configuration for home ownership in New York City, where for all practical purposes shareholders and unit owners are equivalent to individual homeowners. I implore you to edit the language in your financial incentive programs to reflect this reality.

Individual incomes and financial needs fluctuate wildly among (shareholders / unit owners) within my (coop / condo).  Our apartment sizes and interior finishes vary as well.  Seniors, who may have purchased their units twenty years ago, paid a different purchase price than owners that are purchasing today. Those seniors may now be retired and living on a fixed income, while their neighbor might be approaching the top level of their career. This is no different from homeowners living in individual houses on the same street. What is different is that seniors in a house can decide whether or not to do energy upgrades based on their income and needs. Seniors in a cooperative or condominium that has to comply with LL97 have no choice. They need to pay their pro-rata amount of the upgrade, regardless of affordability. By not taking this into account, NYSERDA is punishing them twice for not living in a private house.

Please, please adjust the language in your financial incentive programs to recognize that (co-op shareholders / condo unit owners) who reside full time in their apartment are individual homeowners and deserve the same opportunity to benefit from all available financial incentives to offset costs they are individually assessed to pay for energy efficiency upgrades. The financial circumstances of their neighbors and fellow (shareholders / unit owners) have no impact on their financial situation. We should not be treated in the same manner as the landlord of a commercial multi-family rental building, which they own and operate as a business.

Thank you so much for your time and attention,

 


Posted: December 13, 2023

NYC CRIMINAL BACKGROUND LEGISLATION RESURFACES
WITH SOME AMENDMENTS
TIMED TO PASS BEFORE THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDS

Early in this 2-year City Council session, Council Member Keith Powers introduced Int. 632 of 2022, the so called “Fair Chance Act”, which would prohibit any inquiry into the criminal history of candidates to rent or purchase dwellings. A hearing was held on  December 8, 2022 where CNYC voiced strong opposition to this legislation for its potential threat to the safety and security of other residents in our member cooperatives and condominiums.   Mr. Powers promised to consider the objections raised. 

Now, in the final weeks of the legislative session, an amended version of the ‘Fair Chance Act’ has been finalized and is expected to be voted on by the City Council next week on December 20th.  If passed by the Council, Mayor Adams is expected to sign the bill into law. 

Although some productive changes have been made in the new version, which would allow for the review of certain crimes committed during certain time periods, the law would limit the ability of cooperatives and condominiums to evaluate applicants based on their full criminal history.  While well-intentioned, Int. 632-A deprives cooperatives and condominiums of the ability to perform the holistic review of potential purchasers that is so vital to the preservation of our homes,  our financial assets and our communities.

If passed and signed into law, the legislation takes effect on January 1, 2025.


Posted: November 17, 2023

SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL 43rd ANNUAL CONFERENCE

CNYC thanks all the speakers for their careful preparation and insightful presentations in the class that made up our 43rd Annual Housing Conference on Sunday, November 12, 2023. We also thank the registrants who attended these classes.

The PLENARY SESSION in the middle of the day was dedicated to the memory of Gregory Carlson, an activist in the world of cooperatives and condominiums and member of the CNYC board – among many other leadership positions. Tributes to Greg were followed by greetings from City Council member Gale Brewer who has long supported CNYC and attends all CNYC Annual Conferences.

Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala, the City’s Chief Climate Officer had a video message, noting progress made toward Local Law 97 compliance and encouraging all buildings, large and small to incorporate decarbonization and energy conservation in all plans for their buildings.   Phil Dubuc of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) explained programs and incentives available for energy improvements and decarbonization projects in multiple dwellings of 5 or more units.

CNYC board chair Stuart Saft described the environmental and economic benefits of adaptive reuse of existing buildings, in this case commercial buildings that are being repurposed in whole or in part for residential use.  CNYC board president Peter Varsalona reminded attendees of the new garage inspection reports to be filed in 2024 and that virtually all buildings in the city must begin in 2024 to perform annual parapet inspections, with a report that they retain for at least six years.  Mr. Varsalona  also had many suggestions to streamline the process of FISP compliance and reduce the time that sidewalk sheds would need to be in place.  CNYC board member Robert Pollack spoke of property taxes and invited  conference registrants to attend the February 6 meeting of the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes where he will review the new tax assessments that will be published on January 15th and will remind participants of how to protest increased assessments.

RESOURCE DIRECTORY

WITH LINKS TO VIDEO INTRODUCTIONS

The Conference Program was distributed to all conference registrants.  It includes a Resource Directory, which is now posted on the CNYC website as a resource.  A number of the advertisers have opted to link their Directory advertisement to a short video describing their company.  These videos are posted for a year on the CNYC and Habitat Magazine YouTube channels. 

SAVE THE DATE - SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2024

CNYC hopes to hold its 44th Annual Housing Conference as an in-person event on Sunday, November 17, 2024.  We hope to see you there.

Posted: September 14, 2023


Posted: September 7, 2023

RULES NOW IN EFFECT FOR THREE NYC LAWS

ANNUAL PARAPET INSPECTION REQUIREMENT
APPLIES TO VIRTUALLY ALL NYC BUILDINGS

Local Law 126 of 2021 requires that all New York City buildings ‘fronting on the right-of-way’ (except detached 1 and 2 family homes) have an annual inspection of their parapet performed by a qualified individual.  If this inspection reveals that the parapet or any appurtenances present a hazardous condition, the Department of Buildings must be notified immediately, appropriate measures must be taken to protect the public (sidewalk shed, netting, fencing) and the issue must be quickly addressed and corrected.

The building owner or the individual performing the inspection must write a detailed report, which is to be retained by the building for six years.

Final rules promulgated by the Department of Buildings yesterday move the start date for compliance from this month to the beginning of 2024 and include some modifications to the original rule in response to suggestions made (by CNYC and others) at the hearing on those rules.   Click here the full text of this rule. 

APPROVED ARTWORK NOW REQUIRED ON SIDEWALK SHEDS
UNLESS OWNER ACTIVELY OPTS OUT

A hearing was recently held on the proposed rules to implement Local Law 63 of 2021, which would require that sheds and protective temporary structures (sidewalk sheds and fencing) include art work,  which would consist of items pre-approved by the City or items subject by the owner for approval.  The artwork is to be securely affixed and inspected regularly to ensure that it is well secured and physically intact.  The rules do include a provision permitting building owners to opt out of including art work on their protective temporary structure.

CNYC’s testimony to this hearing praised the well-meaning legislation but pointed out the considerable expense faced by any building as protective temporary structures are erected and suggested that the program be made optional, allowing building to OPT-IN rather than imposing the art work on them or requiring that they OPT-OUT.   CNYC will continue to follow this issue and will provide guidance once the final rule is promulgated.

SHORT TERM RENTALS NOW SUBJECT TO STRICT CITY REGULATIONS

Local Law 18 of 2022 took effect on September 5th.  It sets strict requirements for any NYC apartment to be listed for short term rental.  All hosts of such rentals must register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. Among other requirements, the host must have approval of the landlord or board of the building where the unit is located and must be present to host the renter.   The law also enables a building owner or board to opt to list their building on the Prohibited Building List (PBL) maintained by the Office of Special Enforcement.  No short term rentals are permitted in buildings on this list.


Posted: August 11, 2023

ENERGY CONSERVATION AND CARBON REDUCTION
CNYC OFFERS CLASSES ON LL97 COMPLIANCE

In this time of tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat and excessive rain, no one can any longer question the existence of climate change and the need for all of us to become involved in controlling energy consumption and reducing our carbon footprint.

New York City began efforts in 2009 to reduce reliance on fossil fuel and to increase awareness of measures large and small that can help reduce every New Yorker’s energy use.  #6 heating 6 oil was quickly phased out and soon #4 oil will no longer be permitted in New York City.

With the goal of reducing its 2005 carbon footprint by 80% by 2050, New York City enacted Local Law 97 in 2019 setting carbon reduction requirements on most NYC buildings of 25,000 square feet or more, and imposing fines on those buildings that fail to meet set reductions at five year intervals.  

The first of these intervals closes at the end of 2024, with reports due May 1, 2025.  Buildings failing to meet their prescribed reduction will face fines if they have not provided detailed proof of having made a good faith effort at compliance.

CNYC has long advocated for incentives rather than fines and penalties. With cooperatives and condominiums figuring heavily among the buildings subject to Local Law 97, CNYC is now working to ensure that members – and potential members -- do not face fines.

This fall, CNYC is presenting a series of four classes to help buildings onto the path to Local Law 97 compliance. The series will be presented on Zoom on four evenings, September 28th, October 12th, 19th and 26th at 6:00 PM.  It free to anyone who wishes to attend. Here is an overview:

SUSTAINABILITY WITH AFFORDABILITY
A 4-Part Series to help Co-ops and Condos Comply with Local Law 97

CLASS 1 : First Steps Toward Compliance - Thursday,  September 28, 2023
               Understand LL97 and The Targets that Your Co-op or Condo Must Meet
               Understand Your Current Position; Structure Your Plans to Meet Targets

CLASS 2 : Your Building’s Potential Pathways to Compliance - Thursday, October 12, 2023
               Carbon Reduction as Part of Your Capital Plan
               Projects Appropriate for Your Building that will get you to your goals.

CLASS 3 : Successful Projects You Can Replicate - Thursday, October 19, 2023

CLASS 4 :  Funding, Supervising and Evaluating Projects - October 26., 2023

Additional details and registration information can be found below.  Note that several of the classes at CNYC’s 43rd Annual Housing Conference on Sunday, November 12th also address Local Law 97. 


Posted: July 6, 2023

CO-OP/CONDO ABATEMENT EXTENDER SIGNED INTO LAW
GOVERNOR HOCHUL'S SIGNATURE EXTENDS THE PROGRAM THRU JUNE OF 2027

CNYC thanks Senator John Liu and Assembly member Ed Braunstein for introducing extender legislation very early in the legislative session, for amending their bills to provide for a four year extender and for shepherding this important legislation through their respective chambers.  Governor Hochul signed the extender into law on June 30, 2023.

The Co-op/Condo Abatement Program, first took effect in 1997 providing qualifying New York City home owners in cooperatives and condominiums with a property tax reduction designed to bring their taxes closer to those paid by home owners in 1,2, and 3 family homes. Changes over the years created different abatement percentages based on assessed value, and limiting qualification to those for whom their cooperative or condominium is their primary residence. 


Posted: June 23, 2023

AS THE STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION CLOSES, BILLS OF INTEREST TO CNYC MEMBERS AWAIT GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE

The New York State Senate adjourned for the year on June 10th and the Assembly finished its work this week.  Two laws  helpful to many CNYC member were passed in this session; CNYC will advise members when they have been signed into law by Governor Hochul.
 
            *  A.4972-A Braunstein /S.3252-A – Liu extends the Co-op/Condo Property Tax Abatement program through June 30, 2027.

This abatement program is available to New York City shareholders and unit owners for whom their cooperative is their primary residence.  In buildings of fewer than 30 units with an average assessed value per unit of $100,000 or more and larger buildings with average assessed value per unit of $60,000 or more, for qualifying residents to receive the abatement, an annual affidavit must be filed with the Department of Finance confirming that all building service workers are paid prevailing wages. Heartfelt thanks to Senator Liew and Assembly member Braunstein for introducing this vital legislation early in the year, then amending it to run for four years.  

            * A.7758-Braunstein/S.47029- Kavanagh reinstates the J-51 program of property tax exemptions on major capital improvements for qualifying buildings as the Affordable Housing Rehabilitation Program.  It expands eligibility to cooperatives and condominiums with average assessed values up to $45,000 per unit, and applies to rehabilitation projects done between June 30, 2022 and June 29, 2026. three years, with the same low eligibility threshold but some improvements in benefits.

Another bill of interest is :   

            *A.1029-C Cruz/S.211-A Myrie, the Clean Slate Act, seals from public access the criminal record of individuals for certain state convictions after the individual has served their sentence and thereafter has remained a law abiding citizen for a required period of time.  For traffic infractions and criminal misdemeanors, the requisite period is 3 years; for misdemeanors it is 8 years.   This carefully worded legislation enhances employment and housing opportunities for individuals who have paid their debt to society for past infractions.

Several bills have also passed relating to energy conservation or carbon control. Future CNYC Updates will address these. 


Posted: June 1, 2023

NYS LEGISLATURE PASSES 4-YEAR CO-OP/CONDO ABATEMENT EXTENDER

Yesterday, May 31, 2023, the New York State Senate passed S.4972-A.  Its companion A. 3252-A was passed unanimously by the Assembly on May 23rd. This legislation extends the Co-op/Condo Property Tax Abatement program in New York City to June 30, 2027.

Heartfelt thanks to Senator John Liu and Assembly member Ed Braunstein for their early introduction of this important legislation, and for shepherding it to passage.  We await Governor Hochul's signature to enact S.4972-A/A.3252-A into law. 

The Co-op/Condo Abatement Program will continue seamlessly on the property tax bills for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins on July 1st.


Posted: March 27, 2023

NEW TRASH & RECYCLING SET-OUT TIMES BEGIN TOMORROW

Beginning tomorrow, April 1, 2023, new Department of Sanitation rules require that trash in bags be placed at curbside between 8 PM and Midnight.  Buildings that have opted and qualified to set out their garbage at 6 PM must have the garbage in containers with lids that close firmly.  On recycling days, cardboard can be placed next to the bins. 

PARTIAL WATER BILL AMNESTY IN EFFECT THRU APRIL 30th

Building owners delinquent in their water bills are urged to contact the Department of Environmental Protection to set up a payment plan. Doing so before April 30, 2023 will access amnesty for interest otherwise due.  To learn more, have your account number ready and click here.

NYC PROHIBITED BUILDING LIST FOR SHORT TERM RENTALS

Has your board established a policy regarding rental of units in the absence of the owner?  These short term rentals are often advertised on AirBNB and other similar portals.  Unsupervised ‘guests', unfamiliar with building rules, can be disruptive and problematic.  The city's Office of Special Enforcement has established a portal where potential hosts of short term rentals must register to qualify to do so.  On the same portal, building owners (including co-op and condo boards)  can opt to forbid short term rentals in their buildings by joining the Prohibited Building List.  The Office of Special Enforcement will not authorize hosts in any building on this list.  For full details, click here.


Posted: February 16, 2023

REVERSE MORTGAGES NOW AVAILABLE
FOR SENIORS IN NEW YORK HOUSING COOPERATIVES

Reverse mortgages enable seniors to tap the equity in their homes to cover expenses that might otherwise be prohibitive.  Owners of houses and condominiums have long been able to access reverse mortgage loans, but they have just become available to seniors in housing cooperatives, thanks to a ten-year campaign waged by CNYC and championed by Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz.

With Governor Hochul's signature the bill became Chapter 643 of the Laws of 2021.  The NYS Department of Financial Services then had to provide accreditation to the reverse mortgage lenders that are under their supervision.  As the law requires they also established training for counselors who advise prospective borrowers about the ramifications of their loans.  This information can be found on the NYS Department of Financial Services website.

WHO CAN MAKE REVERSE COOP UNIT LOANS?

HUD does not make reverse mortgage loans to seniors in housing cooperatives.  Reverse coop apartment unit loans will all be proprietary loans.  Banks like Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Chase do not need to meet any additional State requirements to offer reverse mortgage loans or reverse coop apartment unit loans.  Ask your local bank if they offer such loans.  Non-deposit lenders do  fall under the supervision of the Department of Financial Services. Thus far four such lenders have been approved to offer reverse unit loans in New York.   They are:

*FINANCE OF AMERICA REVERSE, LLC, Tulsa, OK 866 615-1257   www.far.com

*LONGBRIDGE FINANCIAL LLC, Mahwah, NJ       855 523-4326   www.longbridgefinancial.com

*NATIONWIDE EQUITIES CORP., Park Ridge, NJ    866 807-0826   www.nwecorp.com

*PHH MORTGAGE CORP., Mt. Laurel, NJ             800 449-8767   www.phhmortgage.com/reverse

*PLAZA HOME MORTGAGE INC., San Diego, CA  858 346-1208   www.plazahomemortgage.com/reverse

Over time it is expected that more lenders will be added to this list.  To find their names and contact information, click here then, in the drop-down menu for Type of Institution, scroll down to ‘Reverse Mortgage Dual Lending Authority' and click the SEARCH button for the list.

COUNSELING IS REQUIRED FOR EVERY BORROWER

Once a borrower has a reverse coop apartment unit loan proposal from a lender, the borrower is required to take counseling to ensure that they fully understand the loan. The lender will supply the names of counselors certified by the Department of Financial Services.  Five are currently listed on the Department of Financial Services website; it is expected that this list will grow over time.Counselling can be in person, by telephone or via the internet.  Upon completion of counseling, the borrower will receive a certificate which is a necessary part of the loan documents.

BOARD APPROAVAL WILL BE NECESSARY

Board approval will be required before a reverse coop apartment unit loan can be closed. Now is a good time for boards to begin formulating their policy regarding reverse coop apartment unit loans. 


Posted: November 11, 2022

CNYC

FIRE SAFETY

Following a deadly fire at an apartment buidling in the Bronx, the City Council and the Mayor instituted the following changes to fire safety codes and laws:

SELF-CLOSING FIRE DOORS
Local Law 63

Local Law 63 of 2022 is aimed at tightening compliance with regulations regarding hallway, stairwell, and apartment doors that must self-close and self-latch.

  • Owners now have 14 days after a violation is served to repair faulty doors, a reduction from 21 days.
  • The Department of Buildings will re- inspect violations within 21 days of the correction period ending.
  • Penalties for door violations will range from $250-$500. An additional $250 per day will be assessed for each day a violation remains after the 14-day grace period.
  • If owners falsely certify that violations have been corrected, additional penalties will accrue.
  • Self-closing doors to interior corridors and stairwells must self-latch after closing.

FIRE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
FDNY Section 401-06 Changes and Executive Order No. 12

The amendments to FDNY Rule 3 RCNY 401-06 and the Mayor's Executive Order No. 12 are geared toward enusring all buildings distribute and post the notices and information contained in FDNY's Fire Emergency Preparedness Guide.

  • Cooperatives and Condominiums must either inspect each unit triennially to confirm a Fire Safety Notice is affixed to the inside of each apartment door, or obtain written confirmation from each tenant or shareholder/unit owner that the notice has been affixed. This certification must include language from FDNY relaying the importance of the Fire Safety Notice.
  • HDP will be teaming with FDNY and will check for fire safety compliance whenever they enter a building. They will be looking for a Buidling Information Form in the lobby, Fire Safety Notices in individual apartments and Close the Door Notices on interior hallway and stairwell doors. This will likely result in the issuance of more violations.

NATURAL GAS

The City Council has added amendments to the initial slew of natural gas piping inspection, installation and safety legislation and regulations. Additionally, agencies have started to take action on promulgating standards.

GAS PIPING INSPECTIONS
Local Law 138 of 2021

Local Law 138 of 2021 assists buildings that do not use any natural gas in meeting the inspection filing requirements of Local Law 152.

  • Master plumbers and/or individuals under the supervision of a master plumber are now considered professionals that may certify a building does not contain gas piping and/or is not connected to gas.
  • Buildings that contain gas piping, but do not currently contain any appliances connected to gas can file the certification once. If in the future the building resumes using gas se

INSTALLATION OF NATURAL GAS LEAK DETECTORS
Local Law 157 / NFPA Standard 715

Local Law 157 of 2016, required the installation of natural gas leak detectors upon the promulgation of an industry standard. NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association) produced a new standard (NFPA 715, Standard for the Installation of Fuel Gasses Warning Equipment) in April 2022. To date the City has not issued a notice relative to the standard, but it is likely that buildings will have to comply shortly - so stay posted!

ConEdison is installing Natural Gas Detectors to monitor air in buildings' basements where gas supply enters the building. In the event a gas leak is detected the alarm will sound, and announce "Danger - Gas leak explosion risk. Evacuate." The alarm will also simultaneously alert ConEdison, who will notify the fire department. This is especially useful in wood frame combustible buildings.
ConEdison's installations are free, and can be scheduled by visiting their portal or contacting them at (800) 75-CONED. The installation is optional at the current time.

PARKING GARAGES

PARKING GARAGE INSPECTIONS
NYC Construction Codes §28-323, and RCNY §103-13

Beginning in January 2022 buildings will need to hire qualified parking inspectors to inspect their parking garages and file a condition report with the Department of Buildings. All unsafe conditions must be repaired within 90-days and plans must be developed for conditions that are marked safe with repair.
The the filing periods for the reports are as follows:

  • Manhattan Community Board Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7:
    Jan 1, 2022 through Dec 31, 2023
  • Manhattan Community Board Districts 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and all Brooklyn Community Districts:
    Jan 1, 2024 through Dec 31, 2025
  • Bronx, Queens and Staten Island Community Board Districts:
    Jan 1, 2026 through Dec 31, 2027

WATCH THIS SPACE

NYC's 2022 Construction Code became effective on November 7, 2022
Stay tuned for important highlights.


Posted: October 11, 2022

PROPOSED DOB RULES FOR LL 97 IMPLEMENTATION PUBLISHED
HEARING ON NOVEMBER 14th

As the time approaches for NYC buildings of 25,000 square feet or more to reach the first carbon reduction hurdle set by the Climate Mobilization Act of 2019 (Local Law 97), the Department of Buildings has published rules for the implementation of the law.  A hearing will be held on these proposed rules on Monday, November 14th; written comments are also encouraged and must be received by that date.

Notable in these detailed rules are 1) a much more individualized approach to defining different types of buildings and their emissions reduction requirements and 2) a statement at the bottom of page 4 points out that while the law includes heavy financial penalties for non-compliance, it also provides for reduction of those penalties if a good faith effort has been made to comply. 

NYC ACCELERATOR PROVIDES FREE HELP WITH LL97 COMPLIANCE

The NYC Accelerator provides guidance on energy conservation and carbon reduction to all New York City buildings AT NO COST.  It has many helpful resources including it BUILDING SNAPSHOT where, by entering a building address, you can learn its LL97 compliance status.   

On Thursday, October 13th at 9:30 AM, the NYC Accelerator will hold a panel discussion on compliance in multi-family buildings, at Roosevelt House on East 65th Street in Manhattan.   All are welcome but tickets are required.  Click here to register.

CNYC's 42nd ANNUAL CONFERENCE ALSO HAS LL97 CLASSES
ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13th - VIA ZOOM
ALONG WITH CLASSES ON MANY OTHER TOPICS & A PLENARY SESSION
REGISTRATION NOW -- FEES INCREASE ON OCTOBER 20th

Click here to download the Conference brochure which describes all 42 classes and here to register your team for the Conference.  Every 2023 CNYC member cooperative and condominium is entitled to one free all-day registration; rates for additional members and for CNYC subscribers are modest.  The public is welcome at higher fees.   Registration closes at midnight on Thursday, November 10th.


Posted: August 26, 2022

PREVAILING WAGE UPDATE
NEW WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE ABATEMENT ELIGIBILITY

Last week the Department of Finance sent letters to New York cooperatives and condominiums that were subject to new Prevailing Wage requirements, noting that the Department had not received the requisite Prevailing Wage Affidavit which would have enabled them to continue to have qualifying resident owners participate in the Coop/Condo Property Tax Abatement Program. 

Legislation signed into law on Labor Day, requires that all NYC cooperatives and condominiums of 30 units or more with average assessed value per unit of $60,000 or more and smaller cooperatives and condominiums with average assessed value per unit of $100,00 or more must submit this affidavit stating that all building service workers would be paid Prevailing Wages as of July 1, 2022.  Even buildings with no service employees had to file the affidavit to continue abatement eligibility.

Despite considerable outreach efforts by the Department of Finance, CNYC and others, and despite multiple extensions of the filing deadline, there are still many cooperatives and condominiums that have not filed affidavits and therefore are scheduled to forego the abatement in this fiscal year.

But the Department of Finance is offering one final chance for cooperatives and condominiums to reinstate their abatement eligibility for Fiscal Year 2022-23.  Here are the instructions from the Department of Finance:

Cooperatives and Condominiums that did not submit a prevailing wage affidavit must provide the Department of Finance with a completed affidavit. Cooperatives and condominiums which submitted an opt-out form must provide a completed prevailing wage affidavit and a letter stating that they wish to rescind the previously submitted opt-out form. 

These materials must be submitted to ccainforeq@finance.nyc.gov by no later than October 1, 2022, if the developments wish to see their benefits reinstated for tax year 2022-23.


Posted: June 15, 2022

DISTRIBUTE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS NOTICES TO ALL RESIDENTS

Reasonable Accommodations have been required by law in New York City since 1987; recent legislation now requires that owners alert tenants to their right to request reasonable accommodations for a disability. Detailed FAQ as well as a suggested form for the required written notice can be found on the website of the New York State Division of Human Rights.

This notice should be modified to clarify that in cooperatives and condominiums, shareholders and unit owners are responsible for accommodations inside of their apartments, but board must address requests for ramps, parking spaces closer to the building, etc.  If the cooperative or condominium owns rental units, it is responsible for the accommodations there (if shareholders or unit owners rent their units, they have the financial burden of accommodations in those units.  The notices are to be distributed by June 16th and posted on the building website.  Prospective residents should receive the notice either with their application packet or at the closing on their unit.

HAS YOUR BUILDING SUBMITTED ALL NECESSARY FORMS FOR THE FISCAL 2023 COOP/CONDO ABATEMENT?

Cooperatives and condominiums of 30 or more units, with Fiscal 2023 assessed value that averages $60,000 or more per unit and smaller cooperatives and condominiums whose 2023 assessed value averages $100,000 or more per unit that wish to have qualifying shareholders and unit owners receive the Coop/Condo Property Tax Abatement in Fiscal 2023  (which begins in July)  must submit to the Department of Finance an affidavit confirming that all building service employees will receive Prevailing Wage during the fiscal year,  EVEN BUILDINGS THAT HAVE NO BUILDING SERVICE EMPLOYEES but meet the assessment criteria described above.  The deadline for submission has been estended to June 30th. Click here for the list of building that needed to comply as of May 20th.  If your cooperative or condominium is on this list, please quickly submit this affidavit on the DoF portal to continue to qualify for the abatement program. 


Posted: April 19, 2022

32BJ CONTRACT AGREEMENT REACHED

At 4 PM on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Union and RAB leaders came to agreement on a four year contract for the members of Local 32BJ SEIU who work in residential buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

A Bonus

In acknowledgement of their dedication and extraordinary service during the pandemic, and to help them cope with inflation, 32BJ members will receive a bonus of $3,000 once this contract is ratified. This bonus will NOT attach to any prevailing wage calculations.  

WAGE AGREEMENT

Wage increases totaling $133 over the four year term of this contract will bring the wages for a Door Person or Porter close to $62,000 by the end of this contract.   The weekly salary increases are $27 as of April 20, 2022;  $33 as of April 20, 2023;  $33 as of April 20, 2024 and $40 as of April 20, 2025.  This contract expires at midnight on April 20, 2026.

BENEFITS

Employers continue to fund health care,  training fund and legal fund benefits for their employees.  The 32BJ Health Fund is a nationally recognized model of efficiency in providing quality care.   Jointly managed by 32BJ and the RAB, it provides excellent family health care for 32BJ members, including preventive care,  management of chronic conditions, etc.   Extremely careful management in the last 15 years has brought the Health Fund to a point where only modest increases in funding (averaging 3.5%) are needed in the course of this contract.  Included in today's contract is a commitment to continued savings and to continuing efforts to bend the curve of high hospital costs.  

The reserves of the Health Fund are now substantial, enabling both sides to agree to grant employers a two month holiday from health fund contributions.  This saving covers the cost of the bonus to 32BJ members.  

For full details of the terms of this contract, visit the website of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations Inc. (the RAB) at www.rabolr.com


Posted: December 23, 2021

BEST WISHES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
AND FOR A HAPPY, HEALTY NEW YEAR

CNYC extends holiday wishes to all its members, subscribers and friends. Governor Hochul has helped to brighten our holidays by signing into law this week, two bills important to New York housing cooperatives.
  

GOVERNOR HOCHUL SIGNS LIU/BRAUNSTEIN HSTPA LEGISLATION
RESTORING FLEXIBILITY TO HOUSING COOPERATIVES

New York State's Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) inadvertently included housing cooperative in the stringent provisions of Part M on ‘all leases', because cooperatives have ‘proprietary leases.'  Among other problems, Part M restricted the amounts of fees and escrows, which hampers the admissions process. 

From the moment that HSTPA was passed, CNYC and fellow advocates for cooperatives have sought clarifying legislation to exempt housing cooperatives from Part M.  Queens lawmakers John Liu and Edward Braunstein introduces the needed legislation. After multiple negotiations and amendments, their legislation was passed in June, clarifying that certain rules governing rentals do not apply in housing cooperatives when no landlord-tenant relationship exists.  On December 22nd, Governor Hochul signed this bill, making it Chapter 789 of the Laws of 2021.

FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF RIGHTS OF HOUSING COOPERATIVES

Last spring, Senator Jackson and Assembly member Dinowitz introduced legislation to protect renters from legal fees.  Although the bill was carefully and specifically worded to apply only to renters and their landlords, Assembly member Braunstein wanted to make absolutely certain that housing cooperatives wouldn't be swept into the proposed law.  During hearings, he asked on the record whether this law was intended to apply to housing cooperatives and Assembly member Dinowitz firmly stated that it applies only in a landlord-tenant rental situation.  The bill was passed by both Senate and Assembly, but, before signing it into law on December 21st, Governor Hochul reached an agreement with the legislature to make amendments to the bill to clarify that cooperative housing corporations can impose legal fees on shareholders (while simultaneously clarifying that the shareholder cannot impose fees on a tenant or subtenant). 

CNYC applauds this trend toward better understanding of the nature and structure of housing cooperatives and the acknowledgement that cooperatives and condominiums are important forms of home ownership.


Posted: December 2, 2021

GOVERNOR HOCHUL SIGNS REVERSE MORTGAGE LEGISLATION

SENIORS IN NYS HOUSING COOPERATIVES SOON TO BE ELIGIBLE

Yesterday, Governor Hochul signed into law S.760/A1508 authorizing reverse mortgages for seniors in housing cooperatives in the State of New York.  This will enable seniors to tap the equity in their homes for funds to maintain their quality of life. 

CNYC extends heartfelt thanks to Assembly member Jeff Dinowitz, who has worked for years to pass this legislation and to Senator Biaggi who, upon her election, immediately understood the need for reverse mortgages for seniors in New York housing cooperatives and has pushed hard for passage.

This new law -- Chapter 643 of the Laws of 2021 -- takes effect in 180 days, during which time appropriate forms must be developed and approved and counsellors trained on issues specific to housing cooperatives.   CNYC will do its best to follow the progress of these preparations and will alert members as soon as the groundwork is in place and loans can be sought.     


Posted: November 29, 2021

Click here for more information (PDF)


Posted: November 16, 2021

SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL 41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE

39 INFORMATION - PACKED CLASSES -- 72 KNOWLEDGEABLE SPEAKERS 

CNYC thanks all the speakers for their careful preparation and insightful presentations in the class that made up our 41st Annual (and second all-virtual) Housing Conference on Sunday, November 14, 2021. We also thank the registrants who attended these classes.

HONORED GUESTS:
ASSEMBLY MEMBER ED BRAUNSTEIN ANNOUNCED PLANNED LEGISLATION
BOROUGH PRESIDENT GALE BREWER ENUMERATED HELPFUL PROGRAM

At the PLENARY SESSION in the middle of the day, all registrants were invited to hear from CNYC leaders and from two elected officials who have long been champions for housing cooperatives and condominiums.  

Assembly member Ed Braunstein told of his legislation that has passed both Senate and Assembly which corrects oversights in the HSTPA legislation of 2019 that imposed restrictions on cooperatives in situations where no landlord/tenant relationship exists.  A.350-C/S.5105-C now awaits the Governor's Signature.  Mr. Braunstein then told of another bill, where he saw that there could be confusion about its application to housing cooperatives.  During committee debate he questioned the sponsor who clearly stated for the record that the legislation is not intended to apply to cooperatives.   Mr. Braunstein plans to settle this issue once and for all with legislation that he will introduce when the Assembly reconvenes.  His legislation will require that any legislation relating to multiple dwellings include a clear statement about its application to cooperatives. CNYC will work hard in support of this legislation and is honored that Mr. Braunstein first announced it at our Conference. 

Borough President Gale Brewer spoke to the Plenary Session from Central Park where she had attended the opening of Wollman Rink.   She told of many existing incentive programs available in New York City , plus new funding opportunities resulting from Federal legislation passed and proposed.   Ms. Brewer is completing her second term as Borough President and will return to her City Council seat representing Manhattan's Upper West Side in January.  She has long been a welcome guest at CNYC's annual Conference.

DIRECTORY OF PRODUCTS & SERVICES

The Conference Program was distributed to all conference registrants.  It includes a Directory of Products & Services, which is now posted on the CNYC website as a resource.  

SAVE THE DATE - SUNDAY,  NOVEMBER 13,  2022

CNYC hopes to hold its 42nd Annual Housing Conference as an in-person event on Sunday,  November 13, 2022.  We hope to see you there.


Posted: November 10, 2021

VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETINGS NOW PERMANENTLY AUTHORISED

Yesterday, Governor Hochul signed into law A.1237/S.1182 making permanent the ability to hold virtual meetings and to obtain electronic signatures in many instances, including the functioning of Boards of cooperatives and condominiums. Temporary provisions in place due to Covid would have expired on December 31st


STOP INTRO. 2047 & PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO SAFE HOUSING
CONTACT YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBER TODAY
HAVE FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, AND COLLEAGUES DO THE SAME

Three weeks ago, CNYC alerted members to the immense problems that could result if Intro. 2047 were to become law.  Now it appears that the City Council could soon pass this bill.   It would prohibit property owners, brokers, managers and boards from asking about criminal history or performing any sort of criminal background check on prospective residents of multiple dwellings - including cooperatives and condominiums.  At no stage in the process would it be legal to ask about or access the sex offender list or any criminal record information.

This seriously flawed legislation could result in arsonists, embezzlers --- and worse! - becoming your neighbors.  Please contact your City Council representative today to explain the danger of this legislation and ask that they oppose it (the bill currently has multiple co-sponsors - your representative could be among them.  If so, your rational explanation could/should help them see the issue more clearly and perhaps withdraw their name from supporting it).  Explain this threat to the residents of your building and ask that they also contact your City Council representative. Intro. 2047 must be stopped. 

The Rent Stabilization Association has generated a VoterVoice campaign that allows you to send messages directly to the bill sponsor and your City Council representative.

Please CLICK HERE to see the legislation. Please share these links with anyone else who might be willing to participate in this campaign.

REALTY ADVISORY BOARD AND 32BJ REACH AGREEMENT
ON CAREFULLY DETAILED PROCEDURE FOR BUILDINGS
TO MANDATE VACCINATION FOR BUILDING SERVICE EMPLOYEES

Per an agreement signed yesterday, buildings have the right to require that their 32BJ employees who are not members of protected groups be vaccinated. First the building must notify employees in writing that it is considering a vaccination mandate and must collect (and keep confidential) vaccination information on all employees. For those who are not vaccinated, inquiry must be made as to the reason. If the employee is in a protected category (religious or health reasons prohibiting vaccination), the employer can require proof of PCR testing up to twice a week, on the employee's own time (available at no cost to members at the Union clinic).

When a building decides to impose a vaccination mandate, it must so inform the Union. Employees not in a protected category must be given four weeks to get vaccinated. If it is a two-shot procedure, they get another four weeks to get the second vaccination. Booster shots are encouraged as appropriate and paid time off is to be granted for them.

Employees in buildings mandating vaccination who remain reluctant to be vaccinated have three options:

  1. They can request a leave of absence of up to 4 months. If they are not vaccinated at the end of that time, the building is not required to take them back.
  2. They can leave and list themselves on a recall list for up to 6 months. If they are not vaccinated at the end of that time, the building is not required to take them back.
  3. If they separate from employment, this termination will not be deemed for misconduct.

Buildings that do not seek to mandate vaccination have the right to ask that their unvaccinated employees show proof of negative PCR tests up to twice a week on their own time.

Consult with Management and with the RAB for details before implementing this mandate. Advice from the RAB will be particularly helpful in instances where the building Super resists vaccination.

NEW ENERGY GRADES WILL BE AVAILABLE TODAY
DOWNLOAD AND POST YOUR BUILDING'S GRADE ON ALL PUBLIC ENTRIES TO THE BUILDING

All NYC buildings of 25,000 square feet or more must benchmark their energy and water use each year by May 1st. Beginning last year, letter grades have been assigned to each building. The new energy grade for your 2020 benchmarking will become available tomorrow. These grades must be downloaded from the Department of Building's DOB NOW Public Portal and posted prominently on all public entries to the building.

The Department of Buildings is verifying which building failed to download their Energy Efficiency Grade that was posted last October and is levying fines based on this failure.

The Sustainability Help Center provides free classes to help with benchmarking and also provides advice on improving your building's Energy Grade.


Posted: September 23, 2021

CONGRESSMEMBER JERROLD NADLER INTRODUCES H.R. 5298
TO MAKE COOPS & CONDOS ELIGIBLE FOR FEMA DISASTER RECOVERY GRANTS

Almost a decade ago, Super Storm Sandy devastated many buildings in New York and New Jersey. Housing cooperatives and condominiums found their boiler rooms flooded, electrical systems damaged or destroyed, and downed trees and other debris to be cleaned up. Soon it became clear that FEMA - the federal agency that provides disaster recovery to individual home owners-- was not authorized to fund disaster recovery grants to repair or replace building-wide systems nor to remove debris from within the cooperative or condominium or homeowner association. Congressman Nadler has worked ever since to work to change this. 

On Friday, September 17th, Mr. Nadler and nine colleagues from all across the nation introduced the Disaster Assistance Equity Act, which, when enacted into law will make essential common elements such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing and electricity eligible for disaster recovery grants under FEMA's Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program and makes homeowner's associations (including cooperatives and condominiums) eligible under FEMA's requirements for the removal of debris in the aftermath of a major disaster. 

At a time of unprecedented national disasters all across our nation, there is great need for this legislation to provide to housing cooperatives, condominiums and homeowner associations the same FEMA protection as private homes. Please urge your Congressional representatives to support 

PREVAILING WAGE LAW: SOME CLARIFICATIONS

The prevailing wage bill signed into law by Governor Hochul on Labor Day affects ONLY those New York City condominiums and housing cooperatives larger than 30 units whose assessed value, as determined by the NYC Department of Finance averages $60,000 per unit or more and those buildings with 30 units or fewer whose assessed value averages $100,000 per unit or more. In order to have shareholders and unit owners for whom the cooperative or condominium is their primary residence to receive the co-op/condo abatement in Fiscal 2023 (which begins in July of 2022) this new law requires that the building pay ‘prevailing wage' to ‘all building service employees'. 

The affected buildings are located in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the vast majority already do pay ‘prevailing wage' which is the package of wages and benefits in the residential contract of Local 32BJ. Buildings with non-union employees, those with contracts with other unions, and those that employ security guards will need to examine this issue in detail and may have difficult decisions to make as to whether to reduce staff, increase carrying charges, or forego the co-op/condo abatement. 

Looking to the future, CNYC is very concerned about buildings currently assessed at less than $60,000 per unit, when they cross the $60,000 threshold. When that happens, their tax burden will increase, the percentage of their abatement will decrease from 22.5% to 17.5% and the prevailing wage requirement will be imposed. 

The Prevailing Wage law also gives individual home owners the responsibility to verify their primary residency to the Department of Finance in order to qualify for the abatement program. When the Department of Finance provides guidance on how it will implement this provision of the law, CNYC will pass on this information. 

TWO PENDING LAWS IMPORTANT TO COOPERATIVES

During the legislative session, CNYC worked hard in support of two important bills that have passed both houses but have not yet been signed into law Your e-mails to Governor Hochul to ask that she sign these important bills would be helpful. 

S.5105 /A350. which Senator Liu and Assembly member Braunstein introduced to clarify that housing cooperatives are not subject to the provisions of Part M of the 2019 Tenant Protection Act in situations where there is no landlord/tenant relationship. 

S.760 /A.1508 sponsored by Senator Biaggi and Assembly member Dinowitz would authorize reverse mortgages for seniors in housing cooperatives in the state of New York. Houses and condominiums can already access these helpful loans, cooperatives need this authorization to be able to do so.


Posted: September 3, 2021

RECOVERING FROM THE STORM

In the aftermath of this unprecedented storm, the Department of Buildings has offered detailed and practical advice which we share with you  below.  May the holiday weekend be a time of recovery for us all. 

New York, NY - The Department of Buildings today is advising building owners and property managers to take added precautions when surveying damage at their properties, after historic and deadly floods inundated neighborhoods across the city overnight. Heavy flooding conditions have the potential to cause structural damage, undermining concerns, hazardous mold, and deterioration of building electrical and gas plumbing systems, which can all pose a serious hazard to New Yorkers entering flood-damaged buildings.

"While the worst of the flooding has thankfully subsided, that doesn't mean that the potential for hazards is over," said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. "Flood-damaged buildings can still pose a serious danger to New Yorkers. Take precautions, and if you spot any unsafe conditions, report it immediately."

Building owners and property managers are advised: 

  • Check your property for any structural stability issues or unsafe conditions due to flooding, and contact the Department of Buildings by calling 311 if there are concerns. For building-related emergencies call 911.
  • When surveying flood damage in a building look out for mold, any newly formed cracks along the wall, and signs of foundation damage including bulging walls.
  • Heavy flooding can have a significant effect on the structural stability of outdoor structures such as decks, porches and retaining walls. Take extra precaution near these outdoor structures, due to the potential for collapse.
  • Flooding can also cause the soil around buildings to shift. Be cautious of sink holes forming on your property, especially near septic systems. Avoid areas around large trees if the surrounding soil is soft.
  • Do not wade into standing flood water in basements and cellars to survey damage. The water may be contaminated, contain hazardous debris, or be electrically charged.
  • Floods can cause damage to electrical wiring and gas plumbing systems inside of a building, creating an imminent hazard to anyone inside of the building. Extreme caution should be taken if there are concerns that standing water in a building may be electrified. Never attempt to turn off power or operate a circuit breaker while standing in water.
  • When investigating and cleaning flood damage in your building, wear gloves, boots, a mask and other protective clothing, to protect yourself from mold and other contaminants.
  • If your basement or cellar is flooded, use caution when pumping out the water. Pumping out flood water from a building too quickly could cause serious structural damage. The water must be drained slowly to equalize pressure on both sides of building walls.
  • If you need to use a gas-powered generator, never use it indoors. Keep generators outside, away from open windows, and always follow the user instructions in the owner's manual.
  • Concerns about drinking water contamination in a building should be reported to 311.
  • Extensive repair work in a building may require the services of a registered contractor as well as DOB-issued work permits. Electrical Wiring repairs will require the services of a licensed electrician. Gas plumbing system repairs will require the services of a licensed plumber. Check the license status of these construction professionals here.
  • Licensed Master Plumbers performing emergency work to address a hazardous situation, restore essential services, and maintain sanitary conditions, have the ability to file an Emergency Work Notifications with the Department online, allowing them to start repairs immediately with no wait time from DOB. The plumber can then submit the paperwork for any required permits with the Department after the job is already completed.
  • Before starting any major repairs at your building, contact a construction professional or the Department of Buildings.

All New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report any unsafe building conditions in their neighborhood. Call 911 for emergencies. For more information about building safety, please visit the Department's website at www.nyc.gov/buildings.


Posted: July 29, 2021

CNYC WEBINAR DELVES IMPLICATIONS OF FLORIDA CONDO COLLAPSE (SEQUEL SEMINARS WILL FOLLOW)

On Tuesday, July 27th, more that 500 board members, property managers, construction professionals and other interested parties logged on to this webinar (see video below) that addresses the implications for New Yorkers of the catastrophic building collapse in Florida. Attorney Stuart Saft, Chairman of CNYC hosted the presentation where structural, legal, insurance and financial concerns were addressed as well as the role of management in educating and guiding board. Click here. to view or download the slides used in the webinar by engineer Peter Varsalona, who serves on the Board of CNYC, property manager Michael Wolfe, also a CNYC board member , banker Casey Fannon, insurance expert Mark Kaufman. Additional webinars are planned to further explore the many issues broached in this webinar. CNYC will keep members advised as dates are selected.

View the video below, and click to download the Presentation Slides.


Posted: July 14, 2021

AIRBORNE INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPOSURE PREVENTION PLAN REQUIRED

June amendments to the New York HERO Act required the New York State Labor Department to publish model workplace safety plans to prevent the spread of airborne infectious diseases. Employers are required to adopt the model plan (or a more stringent version of their own) by August 5 2021. Employers must share their plans with employees within 30 days of adoption. A 9-page general model plan is now available on the website of the State Department of Labor https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act by scrolling down the page. Below this general plan are industry specific templates, but there is not yet one specifically for residential buildings. Note that these plans must be adopted now, but they are to be put into effect only when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the NYS Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public. No such designation is currently in place.

REDUCING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Local Law 97 of 2019 created the Climate Mobilization Act whose goal is an 80% reduction of NYC's 2005 carbon footprint by the year 2050. The legislation sets goals that buildings 25,000 square feet or larger must meet in 2024 and 2029 and an Advisory Board has been formed to recommend future goals and possible modifications/amendments to the law. Buildings are wise to begin now to consult with knowledgeable professionals and to prepare for the upgrading and eventual replacement of various building systems to endure carbon reduction. Here are some good sources of help.

HELP AND GUIDANCE FROM THE NYC ACCELERATOR
The NYC Accelerator has funding to help buildings understand their energy and carbon reduction needs and to find service providers and possible sources of funding for improvements. There is no cost for the services of the NYC Accelerator. Contact them at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycaccelerator/index.page.

RETROFIT NOW! A 4-DAY COURSE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND INTERESTED BOARD MEMBERS
The American Institute of Architecture is sponsoring an energy-conservation focused class to teach designers and other professionals how to retrofit buildings to comply with Local Law 97. It covers a broad array of strategies, including ones that will get buildings pretty far down the road without breaking the bank. Classes are being offered in July (19th, 20th, 26th and 27th) and August (23rd-26th) and monthly throughout the fall. For costs and further details go to https://calendar.aiany.org/2021/07/19/retrofit-now-reducing-carbon-and-complying-with-ll97-day-1-2/


Posted: June 30, 2021

ABATEMENT EXTENDER SIGNED INTO LAW

On June 29, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed into law the bill introduced by Assembly Member Dan Quart and State Senator John Liu to extend through June 30, 2023 the property tax abatement program for qualifying home owners in housing cooperatives and condominiums in New York City, making it Chapter 184 of the Laws of 2021.

The Department of Finance had included these abatements on property tax bills mailed earlier this month and payable tomorrow, July 1st.

CNYC thanks our lawmakers, the Governor and the Department of Finance for the important parts that they have played in ensuring the seamless continuation of the abatement program. We will provide further updates as more of the legislation passed by both legislative houses is sent to the Governor and signed into law.  

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL

CNYC extends best wishes for a safe, relaxed and happy holiday weekend to all its members and subscribers.


Posted: June 11, 2021

MANY BILLS PASSED IN CLOSING DAYS OF ALBANY LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The Albany legislative session closed yesterday with a flurry of bills passed by both Senate and Assembly.  Several of these are of importance to New York housing cooperatives and condominiums.  None have yet been signed into law by Governor Cuomo: 

CO-OP/CONDO ABATEMENT PROGRAM EXTENDED THRU JUNE 30, 2023.  Passed last week, this legislation continues the abatement program for qualifying home owners in New York City whose cooperative or condominium is their primary residence.  CNYC thanks Dan Quart who sponsored this legislation in the Assembly and John Liu for the Senate version.  

PREVAILING WAGE LEGISLATION takes effect in July 2022.  Sponsored by Brian Benjamin in the Senate and Carmen de la Rosa in the Assembly, this legislation requires that any cooperative or condominium of 30 units or less that is assessed at $100,000 or more and any cooperative or condominium larger than 30 units that is assessed at $60,000 or more to certify that it is paying the ‘prevailing wage' to all building service employees in order to qualify for the abatement program above.  The prevailing wage published on the comptroller's website corresponds to the wages and benefits in the 32BJ residential contract.  This legislation also gives shareholders and unit owners the responsibility of confirming to the Department of Finance that their units are their primary residences.  

REVERSE MORTGAGES FOR SENIORS IN NEW YORK STATE HOUSING COOPERATIVES will become possible if Governor Cuomo signs legislation just passed.  We are cautious because of his surprise veto of similar legislation two years ago.  Once signed into law, this legislation will require that new forms and protocols be established before implementation can begin.  CNYC has worked long and hard to enable seniors in housing cooperatives to tap the equity in their homes for funds to enable them to meet the costs of living on in those homes.  Our thanks to Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz and Senator Alexandria Biaggi  for all their help with this important issue.  

CLARIFYING PART M OF HSTPA - Senator John Liu and Assembly Member Ed Braunstein have passed legislation that clearly exempts most housing cooperatives from provisions of Part M of the stringent rent law HSTPA passed in 2019 in cases where no landlord/tenant relationship exists. 

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS IN PURSUIT OF DELINQUENT BUILDINGS

FINES FOR FAILURE TO POST ENERGY GRADES
Buildings of 25,000 square feet or more are required to benchmark their water and energy use annually using the EPA Portfolio Manager online portal.  From this benchmarking information, the City of New York has derived Energy Grades, which buildings are required to download and to post prominently on all public entrances to the building.  Enforcement has begun to track down buildings that have not yet downloaded their Energy Grades for posting.  For information on remedying such a situation click here [June 10  notice from DOB)

OVERDUE FAÇADE REEPORTS AND LONG TERM SIDEWALK SHED
The Department of Buildings has reached out to CNYC for help contacting buildings whose Local Law 11 (FISP) reports are overdue and those where sidewalk sheds have been in place for more than five years.  These are two of DoB's Trifecta of Non- Compliance.  (happily, residential buildings are not subject to the sprinkler requirement that the City has imposed on commercial buildings higher than 100 feet.).  See the CNYC website for a webinar on this issue,  and watch the CNYC calendar for another such webinar where you can participate and get answers to your questions about FISP reports and sidewalk sheds.


Posted: June 10, 2021

CITY SEEKS HELP BRINGING BUILDINGS INTO FISP AND SHED SAFETY COMPLIANCE

The Department of Buildings has reached out to CNYC for help reaching those CNYC members who may be among those whose buildings need to be brought into compliance regarding sidewalk sheds or Façade Inspection Safety (FISP) requirements. Below is a video of the webinar describing DoB's TRIFECTA OF NON-COMPLIANCE (happily, residential buildings are not subject to the sprinkler requirement).

The Department of Buildings will hold another webinar on this topic where CNYC members will be able to ask all questions that they have relating to their FISP filing and long term sidewalk sheds. Watch the CNYC calendar for the announcement of the date of that webinar.


Posted: May 25, 2021

PROPERTY TAX ADVISORY COMMISSION -- SECOND HEARING IS THIS THURSDAY EVENING

The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform for New York City will hold the second of five virtual hearings on the ten recommendations in its Preliminary Report on Thursday, May 27th at 6 PM.  This is said to be the hearing for Brooklyn, but all interested New Yorkers are encouraged to attend any hearing that is convenient (or more than one) and to provide substantive testimony on the recommendations of the Commission.  Click here to register for Thursday's hearing.

CNYC and the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes were represented at the Staten Island hearing on May 11th and testified on the Commission's recommendation that certain houses, cooperatives and condominiums receive a homestead exemption based on the finances of the owner. The Commission sees this homestead exemption as replacing the current abatement program for primary residents in cooperatives and condominiums.  CNYC and the Action Committee expressed the strong opinion that EVERY home owner in the City for whom their home is their primary residence should get a homestead exemption.  Thursday's testimony will address  support for any property reform program that the Commission proposes to include and to expand  ‘circuit breakers' designed to mitigate the tax burden on veterans,  seniors, etc.

Three more hearings have now been scheduled.  The Queens hearing will be on the evening of June 9th,  the Bronx hearing on June 14th and Manhattan on June 16th.  Any New Yorker is welcome to register and to testify in any one (or more) of these hearings. 

CITY PRIMARY ELECTION WILL USE RANKED CHOICE VOTING

Primary Day is June 22nd; and early voting can be done from June 12th thru June 20th.  The new system of ranked choice voting allows each voter to select not only their first choice for the office,  but up to five choices, ranked in order of preference.  This avoids the cost of run-off elections which are often poorly attended, and ensures that the winning candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.  It also demands more of the voter, in that one should now try to learn about ALL of the candidates running for each office.

To help members learn the views of Mayoral candidates on issues important to housing cooperatives and condominiums, Habitat Magazine, CNYC and the Presidents' Co-op and Condo Council are conducting candidate interviews which are posted with transcripts on the Habitat website www.habitatmag.com.  The Mayoral interviews can be also be viewed by clicking here


Posted: May 19, 2021

Effective May 19, New York has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People," issued May 13, for most businesses and public settings.

Click here for more information (PDF)


Posted: May 10, 2021

CITY PRIMARY ELECTION TIME DRAWS NEAR

The system of term limits in our city tends to result in a really big election every eight years as incumbents reach the end of their allotted two four-year terms. This year, New Yorkers will elect a new Mayor, a new Comptroller, several new borough presidents, many new City Council representatives, and more! The general election will occur in November but a significant portion of the decision making takes place in the Primaries which are held this year on June 22nd, with early voting from June 12th to 20th. Voters will be asked to use RANKED CHOICE VOTING, which encourages us to learn more about all of the candidates for each office.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING -- HOW DOES IT WORK?

Ranked choice voting is intended to eliminate slow and costly run-off elections which often have very low turnout. With Ranked Choice Voting, voters are asked to indicate not only their first choice candidate, but up to five candidates, arranged in preferential order. If one candidate receives over 50% of the vote as number one ranked candidate, the election is over. If, however, no one receives over 50% of first ranked votes, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and the 2nd to 5th choices of their supporters are redistributed among the remaining candidates until a winner emerges with over 50% of the votes. This year, New York conducted a few Special Elections using Ranked Choice Voting, but the June primary will be the first time the system has been implemented citywide.

ON May 18th CNYC is one of the partners sponsoring a REBNY webinar on ranked choice voting. To register click here

LEARNING ABOUT THE CANDIDATES

The internet provides many opportunities to get to know the candidates, who all have their own websites and supporters. The various candidates can be found grouped by the office they aspire to or the City Council district in which they are competing to represent you. Additionally, various group are sponsoring interviews, panel discussions and debates that focus on their area of interest.

To learn the views of the leading Mayoral candidates on issues important to housing cooperatives and condominiums, CNYC has partnered with HABITAT Magazine and the Presidents Co-op and Condo Council to conduct a series of one-on-one interviews. These interviews will soon be posted online by all three interviewing entities.

In addition, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has invited CNYC to be part of its Tuesday afternoon series of interviews with candidates for the City Council and later for borough president.   These take place via Zoom every Tuesday at 1 PM.   Here is the link for tomorrow's interview with  Gigi Li one of nine candidates running to represent District 1 at the southernmost tip of Manhattan.


Posted: May 3, 2021

NYC PROPERTY TAXES AGAIN FRONT AND CENTER

ADVISORY COMMISSION HEARINGS ON PRELIMINARY REPORT
The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform appointed in 2018 by the Mayor and the City Council that issued its Preliminary Report on January 31, 2020, has announced the reopening of its 5-borough hearings on that report which had been postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Virtual hearings will be scheduled for all boroughs for comments on the 10 recommendations in the Preliminary Report, specifically whether they would achieve the goals of a fairer system, would be improved by certain modifications, or should be enhanced with additional recommendations. Presently scheduled are sessions for New Yorkers in 
                Staten Island at 6 PM on Tuesday, May 11th 
                Brooklyn at 6 PM on Thursday, May 27th 
Anyone wishing to testify must register no later than 24 hours in advance on the Commission's website
It is important that home owners in cooperatives and condominiums participate in these hearings with specific comments on the recommendations in the report. 

At the May 5 meeting of the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes the recommendations in the Advisory Commission Report will be discussed. 

ASSEMBLY MEMBER DAN QUART INTRODUCES ABATEMENT EXTENDER 
Legislation to extend the Property Tax Abatement program for qualifying home owners in New York City cooperatives and condominiums for two years in its present form has been introduced in the Assembly by Dan Quart (A.7126). CNYC strongly supports this legislation, while still requesting for a longer extender. Please encourage your Albany representatives to support this vital extender.

See flyer below (PDF)


Posted: April 28, 2021

Click here for more information (PDF)


Posted: April 16, 2021

PPP APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 31ST

Since all  designated funds have not yet been allocated, the Small Business Administration has extended the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program Loans (qualifying portions of which can be converted to grants).  These loans are available to housing cooperatives that have suffered financial loss due to the pandemic.  For more information click here

NYC ACCELERATOR: FREE EXPERT GUIDANCE TO FUTURE-FIT NEW YORK

The NYC Accelerator is back after a covid-imposed suspension.  Launched in 2012 by the Mayors Office of Sustainability, this program provides advice and guidance to help buildings all across the City to lower pollution and carbon emissions.  Experts at NYC Accelerator are prepared to help your building with clear explanations of compliance requirements, technical assistance, short and long term planning,  information about financial incentives,  and help finding skilled service providers. On Tuesday morning, April 20th from 9:30 to 10:00, the NYC Accelerator will conduct a Virtual Reconnect, where you can learn about how the program can help meet your building's needs.  You will be able to schedule a one-on-one appointment with an energy expert.  Click here to register.   

GAS PIPE INSPECTIONS FILINGS

Local Law 152 of 2016 requires all buildings to file certification of periodic inspection of exposed gas piping in non-tenant spaces performed by a licensed master plumber or a qualified individual working under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed master plumber.  This individual must certify whether conditions requiring correction were identified and whether additional time is required to correct those conditions. Compliance is staggered as described in the following chart and must repeated every four years

DATE RABGE FOR INSPECTION 

BUILDING IN COMMUNITY DISTRICTS

January 1, 2020 - June 30 2021

1, 3 and 10 in all boroughs

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021* 2, 5, 7 13, and 18 in all boroughs
January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022* 4, 6, 8, 9 and 16 in all boroughs
January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023* 11, 12, 14, 15 and 17 in all boroughs
January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024* 1, 3 and 10 in all boroughs

* and no later than December 31 within every 4th calendar year thereafter.


To identify your community district,  search by address at communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov

If the building does not contain a gas piping system a registered design professional (Professional Engineer or Registered Architect) must submit to the Department of Buildings on its online portal a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification stating that the building does not contain gas piping  by December 31, 2021 that

ALBANY BUDGET BRINGS CAPITAL BASE TAX TO ZERO FOR COOPERATIVES

As had been promised, the State budget sheltered housing cooperatives from any increase in the Capital Base Tax and followed prior phase out legislation in reducing this tax to zero for housing cooperatives, beginning this year. 

WITH THE BUDGET IN PLACE, ALBANY IS NOW CONSIDERING OTHER BILLS:

As had been promised, the State budget sheltered housing cooperatives from any increase in the Capital Base Tax and followed prior phase out legislation in reducing this tax to zero for housing cooperatives, beginning this year. 

PLEASSE ENCOURAGE YOUR ALBANY REPRESENTATIVES TO EXTEND THE COOP/CONDO ABATEMENT
The abatement program for qualifying home owners in housing cooperatives and condominiums  sunsets on June 30, 2021 and needs to be extended.  Because the Advisory Commission charged with suggesting property tax reform for New York City was unable to complete its work, CNYC asks your vocal support for a four year extender of the abatement program to give the new City administration time to address property tax reform.  The abatement was enacted in 1996 as a first step towards property tax fairness for home owners in NYC cooperatives and condominiums; it has been repeatedly extended since that time and was modified in 2013 to apply only where the cooperative or condominium is the primary residence of its owner.  Adjustments made that year also give higher percentage of abatement to homes of lower assessed value. At this writing, no legislation has yet been introduced.  Updates will be provided at our April 21st Informational meeting and the May 5th Meeting of the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes. 

PLEASE SUPPORT REVERSE MORTGATES FOR SENIORS IN HOUSING COOPERATIVES
In December of 2019, Governor Cuomo vetoed legislation that would have enabled seniors in New York housing cooperatives to tap the equity in their homes through reverse mortgages -- an option available to seniors in single family homes and in condominiums.  The veto message expressed concern that HUD would not oversee these loans.  Assembly member Dinowitz and Senator Biaggi have reintroduced their legislation (A.1508/S.760) which they hope to amend  to meet the Governor's concern.  The Covid pandemic has significantly increased the need for such legislation to enable seniors to afford to live out their lives in the cooperatives that have long been their homes.  

LEGISLATION IS NEEDED TO CLARIFY THAT PART M of HSTPA DOES NOT APPLY TO COOPERATIVES
Stringent rent legislation passed in 2019 includes a Part M, which applies to ‘all leases'.  Because cooperatives have Proprietary Leases, prudence has dictated that cooperatives comply with Part M until such time that it is clarified that Part M does not apply to housing cooperatives.  A.4199 Braunstein/S.5105 Liu would accomplish this important goal. 

PLEASE HELP CNYC OPPOSE LEGISLATION TO CONTROL THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS IN COOPERATIVES
Three bills seek to control the admissions process which is vital to a cooperative's ability to welcome members who will share in the responsibility of operating their home and their community.  CNYC opposed these attempts to impose a one-size-fits all time frame on the admissions process and to require reasons when candidates are denied admission.  Please ask your Albany law makers to oppose passage of S.1449- Saunders/A.6510 Walker, which would amend Civil Rights law to require reasons when an applicant is not accepted by a cooperative, A.5856 Lavine/S.2846 Kavanaugh,  which imposes time frames on the process,  and  A.1623 Perry/S.2874 Kavanagh,  which imposes both time frame and reasons requirement.


Posted: April 2, 2021

‘REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION' NOTIFICATION REQUIRED - BUT DEADLINE POSTPONED 
New York State Human Rights law was amended in December to require that tenants and prospective tenants - including shareholders and unit owners - be proactively notified of their right to ‘reasonable accommodation' for physical or mental disabilities.  Notice was to be provided by April 1st, but Governor Cuomo has postponed this deadline pending the promulgation of rules by the Division of Human Rights (with a common period before the rules are implemented).  CNYC will keep members apprised of progress.  

COOPERATIVES NOT TO FACE CAPITAL BASE TAX INCREASE 
As we prepare this notice, State budget negotiations are still ongoing, but CNYC has had assurances that housing cooperatives are not the target of any increase in the Capital Base Tax that may be part of this budget.   

PLEASE HELP PUSH TO EXTEND THE PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT 
The top priority of CNYC and the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes is to ensure a multi-year extender of the Property Tax Abatement Program for Qualifying Home Owners in NYC Cooperatives and Condominiums before its sunset date of June 30, 2021.  This program was initiated in 1996 as a small first step toward property tax fairness for these home owners, while awaiting a long term plan to treat all New York City taxpayers fairly and equitably.  In the intervening years, abatement program has been extended multiple times, while still awaiting tax reform.  The pandemic halted efforts by the latest Commission convened for this purpose.  We are hopeful that a 4 year extender of the abatement program would give the new city administration time to put forth a fair and equitable property tax plan for New York City.  Please urge your Albany representatives to support a 4 year extender of the abatement.  

STATE YOUR OPPOSITION TO ALL BILLS SEEKING TO CONTROL CO-OP ADMISSIONS  
Listed on the CNYC website and described in previous e-blasts are a number of bills that seek to impose time frames on co-op admissions and to require reasons when candidates are rejected.  CNYC has long argued that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all framework for this important procedure for ensuring prospective member of the cooperative community are qualified. Please urge your elected representatives to cease sponsorship of such legislation and to oppose any that come before them.


Posted: February 10, 2021

PLEASE GET TO KNOW YOUR ALBANY REPRESENTATIVES

Find your State Senator at nysenate.gov and your Assembly Representative at nyassembly.gov

Please contact their local offices, introduce yourself,  tell them about your cooperative or condominium  and ways that they could be helpful to you.  Suggest that they might come to one of your meetings or social events once we get past the pandemic.  In your conversation, please be sure to make the following points. 

  • Ask that they support a 4-year extender of the property tax abatement program for NYC housing cooperatives and condominiums, well in advance of its June 30 sunset date.

  • Ask for their support for reverse mortgages for seniors in housing cooperatives. A.1508/S.760 would enable seniors to tap the equity in their homes for funds needed to continue to live there.  The pandemic has exacerbated the need for this. 

  • Ask that they protect your cooperative/condominium by opposing many different pieces of legislation that seek to control admissions and other aspects of cooperative and condominium home ownership.  Some of the current legislation is listed on the CNYC website in our posting of February 1st.   More bills are introduced daily.  Help CNYC make the point that cooperatives and condominiums function well;  they are already subject to a myriad of laws and regulations if they behave badly, and that education of shareholders and unit owners to exercise their responsibilities to serve on committees and on the  board to make their home the best place that it can be. 

Posted: January 29, 2021


Posted: February 1, 2021

PROPERTY TAX

ASSESSMENTS FOR FISCAL 2021/2022
On January15th the Department of Finance published the tax rolls for Fiscal 2021/2022, While the new assessments are significantly lower than those for the prior year, it must be noted that last January's assessments predated the Covid-19 Pandemic and were therefore an increase over the prior year. Multi-family buildings have until March 1st to protest their assessments by filing appropriate forms with the City. This will be a topic at the February 10th meeting of the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes as will the urgent importance of a strong grass roots effort with Albany law makers to ensure that the property tax abatement program for qualifying home owners in housing cooperatives and condominiums will be extended beyond its June 30, 2021 sunset date.

EXEMPTIONS APPLICATIONS MUST BE FILES WITH DoF BY MARCH 15th
Please remind those who have received NYC exemptions as qualifying seniors, veterans, clergy or people with disabilities in your cooperative or condominium that they must now register annually with the Department of Financer in order to continue to qualify. Details are posted on the CNYC website.

PPP LOANS FOR HOUSING COOPERATIVES

SOME LENDERS IMPOSE CONDITIONS ON PPP APPLICATIONS
As housing cooperatives make application for PPP Loans, some lenders are requiring personal information about shareholders. Senator Schumer and Representative Nydia Velasquez are looking into the matter on our behalf.

ALBANY LEGISLATIVE SESSION

PLEASE SUPPORT REVERSE MORTGAGE LEGISLATION
Assembly member Dinowitz and State Senator Biaggi have reintroduced the reverse mortgage legislation that they piloted through the legislature last year, only to have it vetoed by Governor Cuomo. The pandemic has further accentuated the urgent need for seniors in housing cooperatives to be able to access the equity in their homes through reverse mortgages in order to afford to stay in their homes. Please call your State Senator and Assemblymember and ask that they support A.1508/S.760 which would enable seniors in housing cooperatives to access reverse mortgages.

PLEASE HELP CNYC OPPOSE LEGISLATION INIMICAL TO CO-OPS & CONDOS
In these early days of the new legislative session, lawmakers are re-introducing legislation that CNYC has opposed in the past. The following five have already been introduced in this session. As more appear, CNYC will share their bill numbers with you. Please contact your State Senator and Assembly representative and ask that they oppose these bills. If they are the sponsors, please explain to them how the law they are proposing would be detrimental to your condominium or cooperative.

  1. S.2887 would disqualify cooperative and condominium units with assessed values of $200,000 or more from the property tax abatement program. This would increase by more than 21% the property tax paid by the affected units. It has been introduced by Brian Kavanagh and currently has no companion bill in the Assembly.
  2. S.2846, also introduced by Senator Kavanagh and also currently without a companion bill would impose time frames on the admissions process in housing cooperatives in the name of transparency as compared with the sale of a private home. However, the two transactions are far from comparable. Unlike sales of private homes, prospective purchasers in housing cooperatives are applying to becoming members of a community to which they will be expected to contribute in positive ways. No one-size-fits all parameters should be imposed on the careful review of the application to become a member of a cooperative.
  3. S.2874/A.1623 by Senator Kavanagh and Assembly member Perry would impose time frames as above and would also require that reasons be provided when an application is denied.
  4. S.1449, introduced by Senator Saunders also requires that reasons be provided for rejections; it amends the Civil Rights law to do so.
  5. S.3082, introduced by Senator Salazar, this bill claims to prohibit eviction without good cause. It sets stringent requirements for the eviction of individuals from rented units, virtually requiring recourse to the courts for every eviction. It does list among its exceptions the right of the owner of a unit to recover it for their personal use and occupancy.

Posted: January 11, 2021

HOUSING COOPERATIVES SUFFERING FINANCIAL LOSS DUE TO COVID ARE NOW ELIGIBLE FOR PPP LOAN PROGRAM

The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has recently released additional PPP forms and guidance:

Guidance & Resources

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Policy Update - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has recently released additional PPP guidance:

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES


STIMULUS BILL EXTENDS AND EXPANDS GOVERNMENT HELP

The long debated and long awaited Federal Stimulus legislation passed last night provides help to individuals, hospitals, and businesses, extending and expanding Small Business Administration lending programs, enhancing vaccine distribution, and providing funds to bolster public transportation, cultural institutions and restaurants. Senator Chuck Schumer has worked relentlessly to bring this relief to the people and institutions of our nation.

HOUSING COOPERATIVES NOW ELIGIBLE FOR PPP LOANS

When the first stimulus bill was passed last March, we learned to our dismay that cooperative housing was not zeligible for the SBA PPP loans that were made available to businesses. Senator Schumer and the New York Congressional delegation made sure that the HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives in May included a provision correcting this. And the stimulus passed by both Senate and House yesterday expands PPP eligibility to housing cooperatives. If your cooperative has experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic, consult with management or with your bank to be prepared to apply once the SBA website is updated to provide forms.

Here is a link where you can write your own thanks to Senator Schumer E-Mail Chuck | Contact | U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York (senate.gov)

HOLIDAY WISHES

The board and staff of CNYC wish you and your families a pleasant, prudent holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year. Let's all remember to thank the people who helped make this incredibly difficult year more bearable.


Posted: December 7, 2020

CITY COUNCIL CONTEMPLATES LEGISLATION REQUIRING EXTENSIVE SPRINKLER RETROFIT

On Wednesday at 1PM two committees of the City Council will consider Int. No. 1146-B which would require all  existing buildings over 40 feet in height to retrofit their entire interior with sprinkler systems within a nine year period and to provide interim reports along the way. The astronomical cost of such an endeavor is equaled only by the stress of chopping into each and every room in the building to install the sprinkler system.  CNYC will testify in opposition to this bill.

Most of the affected buildings are non-combustible.  The FDNY has a sterling record for its quick response, its ability to quickly control fires within affected apartments and to save lives.

Mandating the tremendous capital expenditure for sprinklers will surely divert scarce funds and attention from other urgent goals of carbon reduction, energy conservation, etc. with minimal impact on public safety. 

Please contact your City Council representative and ask that they oppose Int. No. 1146-B. The Real Estate Board of New York has shared this helpful link which quickly gives you the address of your own Council members plus the sponsors of this legislation. https://www.votervoice.net/REBNY/campaigns/78372/respond

Int. No. 1146-B is one of fifteen pieces of legislation that will be considered at this hearing,  which you can watch at https://council.nyc.gov/livestream  in Room 2.  Written testimony may be submitted by e-mail to testimony@council.nyc.gov up to 72 hours after the close of the hearing. 


Posted: November 20, 2020

Homeowners must renew their property tax benefits by March 15, 2021

The season for homeowners to renew their property tax benefits has begun.

All initial and renewal benefit applications must be submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF) by the March 15, 2021, deadline.

Property owners who have questions about the renewal applications should contact the Department of Finance at recertify@finance.nyc.gov, or call 311.

More information about the various programs and applications is available on DOF's Benefits for Property Owners webpage.

SCHE/DHE Renewal

The law requires that the Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption (SCHE) must be renewed every two years and the Disabled Homeowners' Exemption (DHE) must be renewed every year.

The Department of Finance has mailed a total of 38,620 renewal reminder notices to these populations, comprising 35,836 SCHE notices and 2,784 DHE notices.

  • Homeowners can renew online (e-file) and should be encouraged to do so.
  • Blank, fillable SCHE and DHE renewal applications are available on our website, but DOF recommends using the pre-populated forms sent by mail, if possible.
  • Homeowners must estimate their total combined income, enter the amount in Section 3 of the renewal application, and submit all required income documentation. Homeowners can use the income calculation worksheet to estimate their total combined income.
  • SCHE and DHE frequently asked questions are available online.

Clergy Renewal

The clergy exemption must be renewed annually. Clergy property tax exemption renewal applications have been mailed to 1,321 clergy exemption recipients. Completed applications must be returned to DOF by March 15, 2021.


Posted: October 27, 2020

Click here for more information (PDF)


Posted: October 21, 2020

EARLY VOTING STARTS IN NEW YORK ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24TH

Click here for the location of your early voting place and the times that it will be open.


Posted: October 13, 2020

FIRE SAFETY NOTICES ON INSIDE OF FRONT DOOR

FDNY promulgated rules many years ago requiring property owners to distribute signs to residents stating whether their buildings were combustible or non-combustible and listing procedures to cope with a fire in each case.   These notices were to be affixed to the inside of the front door of apartments, but CNYC and others were successful at the time in arranging that the boards of cooperatives and condominiums would simply be responsible for distributing the notices to residents and replacing them if requested.  

New FDNY rules now seek to better ensure that Fire Safety Notices are in place.  They require owners of multiple dwellings (or their representatives) to inspect each dwelling unit at least once evey three years to confirm the presence of a Fire Safety Notice in every unit and to replace missing or damaged notices.  In a multiple dwelling with a cooperative or condominium form of ownership, the  FDNY offers the alternative  that the shareholder or unit owner either post the notice that the board provides or signs a written certification that includes a statement from the Fire Department regarding the importance of the Fire Safety Notice confirming that they have received the Fire Safety Notice.

If a shareholder or unit fails to return the certification which confirms that the fire safety notice has been received and is posted on the inside of the mail entrance to their apartment, the board must have the unit inspected and any missing Fire Safety Notice replaced. 


Posted: October 13, 2020

NYC WORKS TOWARD ZERO LEAD PAINT

In April of 2019, the City Council passed several laws that further strengthen the City's strict lead paint requirements and better  protect young children from lead paint poisoning .  Local Laws 66 and 70 are of direct concern if your building was built before 1960, when lead paint was outlawed in New York. 

Local law 66 lowers by 50% the allowable blood lead levels triggering concern in small children and similarly reduces acceptable levels of lead in paint,, paint chips and lead dust on floors and window sills.  As of June 1, 2021 the lead dust definition for floors and window sills will be further reduced.  This means that units and buildings that have previously qualified as Lead Free by XRF testing may have to be retested to ensure that they meet the new requirements.  

Local Law 70 expands lead inspection and record keeping requirements in all multiple dwellings built before 1960 where a child under 6 resides.  It expands the definition of ‘resides' to include any dwelling where a child under 6 spends 10 hours or more per week.   Apartment units meeting these qualification are to be inspected annually for deteriorating lead paint and any problems found must be remedied at once, using approved protocols (including certified contractors for work covering more than two square feet) and a dust wipe clearance at the end of every job.  Records of every lead related job are to be maintained for a period of 10 years and can be audited by HPD at any time.  HPD has developed forms which can be used (but are not required) for this record keeping.

When an apartment where a child under six resides is a cooperative or a condominiums, responsibility for this inspection and remediation belong to the shareholder or unit owner who owns the unit, but, if the unit is rented, the board is now responsible for ensuring that both inspection and remediation take place.   

Individual units or whole buildings can become exempt from the annual inspection requirement after an XRF inspection applying the new maximal allowable lead levels results in certification that they are LEAD FREE (For further information visit safework@health.nyc.gov).


Posted: September 2, 2020

Funding Available for New Water Efficiency Projects

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering funding for water efficiency projects through the Water Conservation and Reuse Grant Pilot Program. The Program reimburses water efficiency projects totaling greater than $50,000 on a single private property that include conventional fixture retrofits and/or innovative water saving technologies, such as on-site water reuse. It is anticipated that up to $1 million will be available, to be distributed amongst selected applicants that agree to the terms of DEP's Grant Funding Agreement.

Click here for more information (PDF)


NEW STIMULUS - STILL NO PPP LOANS FOR HOUSING COOPERATIVES OR CONDOMINIUMS NOR FUNDING FOR STATES

Yesterday Congress passed a new injection of federal stimulus funding; although funding available for hospitals and small businesses is greatly enhanced, the legislation did not alter eligibility to include housing cooperatives and condominiums for Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans. New York lawmakers continue efforts to correct this in the next stimulus legislation. CNYC thanks members for your efforts to make this a priority with your elected officials, and ask that you continue to do so. A resolution introduced on Wednesday in the City Council by Queens Council Member Paul Vallone (Res 1289) calls upon Congress to help housing cooperatives and condominiums. The resolution is co-sponsored by 24 other Council Members. Please make sure that your Council member supports this resolution as you continue to raise this issue with your Washington representatives as well.

Additional funding was allocated to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, which may now be able to fund more loans that housing cooperatives and condominiums seek. Unlike the PPP loan, where a portion of the loan is eligible for forgiveness, EIDL loans simply defer the commencement of interest payments (which cannot exceed 4%) and have a term of up to 30 years.

This stimulus does not provide any funding to help states defer the enormous unanticipated expenses of fighting this pandemic. Please include in your message to Congress the plea that funding be provided to the states in proportion to the costs of fighting Coronavirus.

NYC SUSPENDS ORGANICS COLLECTION AND FASHION NYC

With the City budget and personnel stretched by the demands of Coronavirus, the Department of Sanitation has had to suspend curbside pick-up of organics as of May 4th, scheduling the program to recommence at the end of June of 2021. The RefashioNYC program is also suspended as no new pick-up appointments are being scheduled due to current Coronavirus concerns.

CNYC EVENTS POSTPONED

CNYC has also cancelled evening meetings in these difficult times. We are now exploring postponement dates for the meetings scheduled in May. These will soon be posted on the CNYC website. We hope to see you in person at many of those events.

Stay safe!


Click for More Information (PDF)


CARES ACT CURRENTLY DOES NOT ALLOW HOUSING COOPERATIVES OR CONDOMINIUMS TO ACCESS PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS

Interim Regulations issued Thursday night (April 2) by the Small Business Administration state that "Businesses that are primarily engaged in owning or purchasing real estate and leasing it for any purpose are not eligible" and that "Apartment buildings and mobile home parks are not eligible", and that "Residential facilities that do not provide healthcare and/or medical services are not eligible."

Locally and throughout the country groups are working to change this to enable housing cooperatives and condominiums to access these loans. Our communities should have this much needed help to keep afloat in these trying times!

Please contact your Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators and ask that they expand the CARES act to enable housing cooperatives and condominiums to access PPP Loans. Point out the lost or deferred revenue you are facing and the extra expenses the pandemic is imposing on the functioning of your community. Ask also that additional funding be provided, since the current program will soon be depleted.

Use this link to Democracy.io to find your Members of Congress and contact them TODAY! https://democracy.io/#!/

If possible, please advise CNYC of the contacts that you have made.

Thank you and stay safe.


SOME SUGGESTIONS AS WE COPE WITH COVID-19

As the challenging days of empty streets and social distancing continue, a variety of concerns arise in our community.  CNYC will try to provide some direction here on frequently asked questions we have received.

STAFFING YOUR BUILDING
Building service workers have been acknowledged as essential service providers and management companies have been working diligently to keep buildings running as smoothly as possible, and Local 32BJ whose members work in many of our buildings has been very cooperative in helping meet issues as they arise, as have other unions. 

CNYC members run the gamut from small, self-managed buildings to large buildings with the unionized workforce.  Our smaller members are using creative strategies to meet the challenges inherent in ‘shelter in place' orders and the need for enhanced cleanliness.  Larger members are facilitating temporary pandemic-related work arrangements to meet essential needs without compromising worker protection.  Relevant agreements may be found on the website of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations Inc.  (the RAB) at www.rabolr.com in the box at the right about COVID-19; these add flexibility to your ability to adjust schedules either to allow longer hours in fewer days for some staff members (with their agreement) or to stagger shifts for better social distancing. 

If members of your own staff are not able to come to work and you seek reliable help in keeping the building clean, on the RAB website in the COVID-19 box the title Contractors has a list of companies that clean office buildings whose workers would be happy for temporary work during the pandemic.

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has a wealth of helpful information on its Coronavirus Resource Hub: https://rebny.com/content/rebny/en/Coronavirus.html.

PAYMENT ISSUES
The shocking increase in unemployment over the past two weeks affects our community. Cooperatives and condominiums with retail and professional space are receiving requests for deferral or abatement of rents.  Shareholders and unit owners experiencing economic hardship may not be able to make full maintenance payments on time.  These factors can threaten the ability of the cooperative or condominium to make timely payments itself.

Boards need to anticipate the likely impact of this prolonged emergency on their residents and finances and develop to manage these challenges.  Encourage shareholders/unit owners to discuss their situation - with management or the board treasurer - early rather than fail to pay carrying charges.  Try to be practical and accommodating in structuring payment plans.

Commercial tenants forced to close or to severely curtail their revenue-producing operations may be able to make partial payments during the pandemic, and then quickly get up and running afterwards.

ANNUAL MEETING
Another casualty of the pandemic is the Annual Meeting which many cooperatives and condominiums hold in the spring. Many are simply postponing their Annual Meeting to the summer or fall, while others are arranging virtual Annual Meetings.  Either should be acceptable (check with your attorney regarding necessary specifics).

Whether online or in-person,  your Annual Meeting this year should be the occasion to report on the special efforts of staff and management - and, yes, the board! - and their ingenuity and goodwill in meeting the many challenges of this unprecedented situation.


Building Service Workers Perform Essential Services

Governor Cuomo's Executive Order requiring a 100% reduction in on-site personnel for non-essential businesses specifically lists as ESSENTIAL SERVICES those of cleaning and maintaining buildings as well as security functions.   

STAFFING YOUR BUILDING DURING THE PANDEMIC 
While your cooperative or condominium is surely considering various scenarios that could occur in the rapidly changing landscape of the coronavirus pandemic, the Executive Order makes it clear that those service employees who are able to come to your building have a right to do so.  
Consider providing a letter to each employee confirming that their presence is essential to the running of your building.  Remember to thank your employees for their service to your building and to be considerate of those unable to appear because of the illness or of child care issues. 

Efforts are underway to compile lists of individuals willing to fill in to help keep buildings clean and safe during this crisis when they are unable to go to work at their regular jobs.   CNYC will keep members advised as these lists become available. Details will also be found on the website of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations Inc. (The RAB) at www.RABOLR.com.


HOW MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING OWNERS, COOP AND CONDO BOARDS, AND MANAGING AGENTS SHOULD DEAL WITH COVID-19

Prepared by the firm of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP

Owners of multi-family buildings, boards of condominiums and cooperatives and their managing agents should be aware of their legal obligations that arise from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  In general, owners, board members and managing agents must do what a reasonably prudent person would do when faced with a similar problem. The federal, state and city governments and their agencies are recommending procedures to be followed to minimize health risks to the public and to employees, to deal with individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus, and to be followed by those having come into close contact with such individuals. Deviating significantly from these standards can result in potential claims.

The Center for Disease Control (the "CDC") maintains that a majority of people have a low risk of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The CDC detailed that the following individuals are at an elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19:

  • Within a community where COVID-19 has been reported;
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19;
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19; and
  • Travelers returning from areas where community spread is occurring.

New York State has declared a state of emergency due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our state. Until we are advised that the virus is under control and the state of emergency has been ended, we believe that all multi-family buildings and managing agents are expected to implement reasonable procedures and protocols in order to mitigate risks and potential claims. We recommend that the following steps be taken in most situations.

I. Standard Protocols for keeping Buildings, Building Staff and Residents Safe

A. Building and Resident Safety

  • Building staff should keep all common areas, furniture and equipment sanitized with the use of an EPA approved disinfectant (must contain at least 70% alcohol). Common areas may include lobbies, elevators, mail rooms, playrooms, laundry rooms, bathrooms and gyms, and common furniture and equipment located therein. Door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, and other commonly touched areas should be disinfected regularly.
  • Building staff should ask all contractors, vendors and delivery persons who enter through the service door to wash their hands and any guests or delivery persons entering through the lobby to cleanse their hands at the hand sanitizer dispensers in the lobby before proceeding further into the building.
  • Provide hand sanitizer dispensers (must contain at least 60% alcohol) and disinfecting wipes for use by building staff, residents and visitors in the lobby, service entrance and in areas where people congregate in the building.
  • Ensure there is always soap and paper towels in bathrooms, that all sinks are in good repair and post reminder instructions for 20-second hand washing.
  • Post flyers and information in readily accessible areas for all the residents and employees to see information on COVID-19. Find links below.
  • Encourage all persons exhibiting symptoms of infection to seek medical care, follow their doctor's orders, and report themselves to the CDC and local health department.
  • Encourage all persons who have come in close contact with an infected person to self-quarantine in their home for at least 14 days.

B. Building Staff Safety

  • Building staff should wear and use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves, according to existing policies and procedures, as well as following label directions for cleaning products.
  • Encourage staff when entering individual homes to inquire with residents if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and if they have traveled to high-risk areas. If the resident answers yes to either of these questions, and the visit may be postponed, it is encouraged that the staff postpone the visit. If that is impossible, the resident should remain in a different room during the visit with the door closed, if possible, wear a face mask, and the employees should immediately wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Require building staff to stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Implement a course of action for prompt identification and isolation of infected individuals.
  • Ensure there are face masks, hand sanitizers, soap and sanitized towels readily available for all staff.
  • Employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Hazard guidelines ("OSHA") and provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards which may cause death and harm. Please see link at end of document.

II. Procedures if you Suspect an Infected Individual in the Building

  • Buildings may temporarily suspend services to public areas like gyms and conference rooms.
  • Attempt to keep the names of suspected infected individuals confidential from other residents but inform all building staff that may come into contact with that individual.
  • The staff should inform management of the name and address of each person suspected of being infected so management can inform the CDC and local health officials.
  • Direct the building staff not to come into contact with the suspected infected or quarantined individual without following the above protocols, i.e. request the suspected individual to exit the room, wear protective face mask and properly sanitize after the visit.
  • Advise all infected or quarantined persons that deliveries will be left outside the apartment door, that the delivery (or staff) person will ring the doorbell to advise of the delivery and will depart immediately without interacting with such person. 
  • Report to the CDC and to the city, county or district health officer any suspected infected individual who is not remaining quarantined.

III. Links for Further Guidance

CDC - Coronavirus Summary
NYC - Guidance and Safety Tips - Recommended to Post for Residents and Employees to see
NYC - Flyer - Recommended to Post for Residents and Employees to see
CDC - Home Cleaning and Disinfection
NYC - Disinfection Guidance for Commercial and Residential Property
OSHA Guidelines for Employers


GOVERNOR'S VETO DASHES CURRENT HOPES FOR REVERSE MORTGAGES FOR SENIORS IN CO-OPS

On Friday the 13th, Governor Cuomo issued his Veto #213, disappointing hundreds of seniors who supported this important legislation as they aged in place in New York  housing cooperatives. Many of these seniors call CNYC on a regular basis for progress reports on the legislation that would have enabled them to live out their lives in the homes and communities dear to them.   Now many will be forced to sell their cooperatives for the funds to cover their living and medical expenses in their ‘golden years". 

CNYC has worked for years to enable seniors in housing cooperatives to use the equity in their homes through reverse mortgages.   This year,  Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz and Committee Chair Kenneth Zembrowski, brought together organizations such as AARP and those involved specifically with mortgage foreclosure prevention.   All those involved recognized the vital need to help seniors in housing cooperatives.   We worked with good will to understand one another's concerns and to produce legislation with  ample consumer protections.

With our thanks to the law makers and organizations who worked for this important legislation, and deepest aplogies to the seniors whose hopes have been dashed by this veto, please know that CNYC will continue its efforts to enable seniors in housing cooperatives to access reverse mortgage-type loans. 


Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) has issued the following press release following the introduction of the Disaster Assistance Equity Act for common interest communities including cooperatives and condominiums:

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) introduced H.R. 5337, the Disaster Assistance Equity Act, along with Representatives David Rouzer (NC-7), Joe Cunningham (SC-1), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Peter King (NY-2). This bipartisan legislation will ensure that common interest communities, including co-ops and condominiums, are eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners.

The bill accomplishes this by making two key changes to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act:

  • Makes essential common elements of a common interest community (such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing, and electricity) eligible under FEMA's Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program;
  • Makes common interest communities eligible under FEMA's requirements for the removal of debris in the aftermath of a major disaster.

"Seven years ago, thousands of New Yorkers and other Americans were shocked to learn that FEMA's eligibility rules left them with no way of restoring their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. "Since that time, common interest communities across the country have faced similar hardships. This is simply unacceptable. A natural disaster doesn't care what type of home you live in, and FEMA should treat all homeowners equally. I am proud to join Representatives Rouzer, Cunningham, Zeldin, Engel, and King in re-introducing this critical bill, which will ensure that every American can rebuild their home after a natural disaster."

Full press release


JOIN THIS PETITION TO EXEMPT COOPERATIVES FROM PART M

Since June, when the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) became State law, inadvertently including housing cooperatives in stringent new provisions imposed by Part M on "all leases", CNYC has urged members to contact theirAlbany lawmakers to seek clarifying legislation exempting cooperatives from Part M.

HSTPA is directed at protecting tenants in landlord/tenant situations. Coopertatives are swept into Part M of HSTPA only because the relationship between shareholders and the cooperative is governed by a ‘lease' - the proprietary lease. However, the relationship is not the same as that between landlords and rental tenants. In a cooperative the shareholders are also the owners.

Iimplementing Part M against cooperatives will have a materially adverse impact on the ability of cooperativess to function efficiently, will increase the cost of operations, decrease fee income causing increases to operating budgets, and will reduce the quality of life for residents.

Please continue to work for the exemption of cooperatives from Part M of HSTPA. Here are petitions that your board or your shareholders can complete and return to CNYC to help show the grass roots strength behind our push for legislation to exempt cooperatives from Part M. If your board opts to circulate the petition to shareholders, here is a sample letter that you may wish to use.


Why do I need this inspection?

New York State law requires that Con Edison perform an inspection of all gas service lines from the service to the outlet of the meter. This aligns the state with federal code. Customers in business districts must be surveyed every 15 months and residential districts every 36 months.

What will happen during this inspection? How long does it take?

The inspection work will include a gas leakage survey and a visual inspection for atmospheric corrosion on all exposed piping to the outlet of the Con Edison gas meter inside each home or building.

  • The inspection takes approximately 15 minutes per meter.
  • If there is a safety concern, a Con Edison crew will be dispatched to the address.

How often are you finding a safety concern? We're very worried about being turned off

We have found very little corrosion (less than 0.5%) and a low percentage of leaks (less than 3 percent). Of the leaks we have found, most of them have been easily remedied. Actual shutdowns of service have been extremely rare. Our primary concern is the safety of your building and residents, but the results from tens of thousands of inspections that have been completed thus far show that you do not need to fear the inspection process.

What happens if I refuse to have an inspection done?
Since this inspection work is required by law, if we are unable to gain access, a $500 no-access fee will be charged to each account.

  • This fee may be assessed each month that we are unable to access your gas meter.
  • Service termination proceedings arising from non-compliance will be initiated if we are unable to complete the inspection.

Who can I call to schedule an appointment?
We have hired a contractor, Precision Pipeline Solutions, to assist us with performing this work. All Precision Pipeline Solutions technicians carry a Con Edison photo ID. For your safety, if you would like to verify the status of the contractor at your door, you can call 1-800-75 CONED.

You can help us obtain access by calling the following numbers to schedule an appointment.

  • Bronx, Queens and Westchester customers can call Precision Pipeline Solutions at 1-888-617-0510 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Manhattan customers can call Con Edison at 1-800-643-1289 (press option 3) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Click to download PDF



LEAD IN DUST STANDARDS - NEW REQUIREMENTS

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ("DOHMH" or "the Department") is writing to inform you that effective June 11th, NYC will have new lower lead in dust standards. Local Law 66 of 2019 outlines new lead reference/action levels and standards relating to lead-based paint hazards.

The new standards for lead dust clearance and lead dust hazard risk assessment testing in New York City are as follows:

Area Current Standards New Standards
Floors 40 mcg/ft2 10 mcg/ ft2
Window Sills 250 mcg/ft2 50 mcg/ft2
Window Wells 400 mcg/ft2 100 mcg/ft2

The new standards apply to all clearance dust wipe samples collected in New York City on or after June 11, 2019. Please see the attached document for more important information.

Should you have any questions about the above requirements, please email questions to the DOHMH's Healthy Homes Program at safework@health.nyc.gov referencing "New lead in dust standards." Please also provide your name and phone number with your inquiry.


Water Conservation and Reuse Grant Program 2019

DEP is launching a new Water Conservation and Reuse Grant program this July. Conservation projects must propose a one million gallon water saving per year and will cover costs for replacement of inefficient fixtures and more. Building owners may save substantial costs by participating. Applications will be open till October.

Any questions or to be sent and application email waterconservation@dep.nyc.gov.


City council passes Int. 1253-C

On May 18th the City Council has passed Int. 1253-C which Mayor DeBlasio is expected to sign into law on Earth Day, April 22nd. While well-intentioned, this legislation unfairly forces larger coop and condo buildings to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of reducing the City's carbon footprint by 40% in 2030 and 80 % in 2050. CNYC members whose buildings are 25,000 square feet or larger and have no rent regulated tenants will be forced to invest millions of dollars to meet greenhouse gas emission caps or face draconian fines, making necessary capital improvements even further out of reach.

CNYC will continue to advocate for an approach that includes all buildings, setting realistic but challenging goals for progressive percentage reductions in energy use and carbon output. As the legislation is implemented, CNYC will continue to work for these modifications.

www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-green-buildings-20190414-shgbvgat5zfadb3ugyno2kgkmq-story.html

www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2019/04/16/city-s-green-proposal-has-co-op---condo-owners-seeing-red

STATE BUDGET EXPANDS TAXATION OF REAL PROPERTY INCREASING TRANSFER FEES ON LARGE REAL ESTATE SALES

New York State has delivered a budget on time, and one that depends in part on an escalating transfer taxes on the sales of individual homes, cooperatives, condominiums.

The This Real Property Transfer Tax is payable by the seller. The rate of this tax is 0.4% of one percent of the purchase price up to $2,9999,99. This tax has been increased for sales of $3 million dollars and more to or more the tax is 0.65% of the purchase price.

The "Mansion Tax" to be paid by the purchaser is increased from 1% for all residential sales of over $1 million dollars in municipalities of more than a million people to

  • 1.25% for of sales price on all residential sales of $ $2 million dollars but less than $3 million dollars OR
  • 1.5% of of sales price on residential sales of $ 3 million dollars but to less than $5 million dollars, OR
  • 2.25% of sales price on residential sales of $ 5 million dollars but to less than $10 million dollars. OR
  • 3.25% of sales price on residential sales of $10 million dollars but to less than $15 million dollars, OR
  • 3.5% of sales price on residential sales of $15 million dollars but to less than $20 million dollars, OR
  • 3.75% of sales price on residential sales of $20 million dollars but to less than $25 million dollars, OR
  • 3.9% of sales price on residential sales of $25 million dollars or more.

This graduated transfer tax supplants the proposed pied-a-terre tax that has been extensively discussed in the press.


Anti-Harassment Policies and Training Class at CNYC's Annual Conference

In 2018 both the NYS Legislature and the NYC Council adopted new legislation to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Guidance and information on the new requirements, which apply to ALL employers, are available at CNYC's November 11 Conference in "Anti-Harassment Policies and Training: Don't be the Next Headline."

Click for More Information (PDF)


NYC Building Operator Training:
No-Cost Energy Efficiency Training for Multifamily Operations & Maintenance

  • 30-hour training program designed by building operations & maintenance training experts
  • Covers building systems (heating, electrical, water) with emphasis on preventative maintenance & energy efficiency
  • More than 300 supers have already completed the training and are seeing energy- and money-savings results!
  • Classes take place at locations throughout the city
  • Course materials available in Spanish and English

Click for More Information (PDF)



SPECIAL OFFER FROM CON-ED: "UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING ON US AND SAVE $$$$"

Get FREE LED lighting upgrades for common areas in your multifamily building (5+ units) and save big. Last year, Con-Ed upgraded 450 buildings - at no cost to the customer - saving each building an average of $4,300 in electric costs each year.

Click for More Information (PDF)


NYC ZERO WASTE PROVIDES TIPS
ON RECYCLING & DISPOSAL

Read the latest NYC ZeroWaste newsletter, with information on how to "Dispose of Harmful Household Products" and "Schedule Electronics Pick-ups".

Click to view the September newsletter online.


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