ASSERTING THE HOME OWNER STATUS
OF SHAREHOLDERS & UNIT OWNERS
People who make their homes in cooperatives and condominiums
are home owners. They show commitment to their community and
their City. Here they pay taxes, raise their families, and support
educational, religious, cultural and social organizations. This home owner
status should not be questioned.
But it is. Regularly and repeatedly.
PROPERTY TAX INEQUITY
New York City's property tax structure imposes much heavier tax burdens on
home owners in cooperatives and condominiums than on owners of more traditional
one, two and three family homes that make up property tax Class 1. Despite
long acknowledgment of this inequity, little has been done towards remediation,
and the City's most recent initiative takes the giant step backward of treating
home owners in cooperatives and condominiums even LESS like Class 1 home
owners. See pages 1 and 3 for the modifications to the abatement program and
pages 8 and 9 for a history of our ongoing crusade for property tax fairness.
UNEQUAL DISASTER TREATMENT BY FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also misunderstood the nature
of housing cooperatives, condominiums and home owner associations, and
therefore currently does not provide grants for restoration of building systems destroyed
by disasters such as tropical storm Sandy. Strong efforts are being taken
on a nationwide level to help FEMA better understand the nature of this form of
home ownership and to revise its policy to allow for grants to bring back building
systems devastated by storms, floods, and other disasters. Happily, FEMA is cooperating
in these efforts, and legislation has been introduced to correct this problem.
See page 7 for details.
DIFFERENT TREATMENT BY LENDING INSTITUTION
Loans to purchase a condominium unit or shares in a cooperative are subject
to greater scrutiny, more stringent requirements, and often higher interest rates
than loans for the purchase of a house. Cooperatives and condominiums with a
low percentage of owner occupied units often find that potential purchasers have
great difficulty securing loans. Lenders impose unrealistic requirements rather than
focusing on the financial health of the building and the borrower.. While many
lenders do understand the intricacies of New York State conversion, more education
is needed in this area. At CNYC 33rd Annual Housing Conference on Sunday,
November 17th there will be a midday class on Condo Financing Challenges. See
the Chart of Conference Events on page 17.
URGE CANDIDATES TO LEARN ABOUT COOPERATIVES & CONDOMINIUMS
will continue to work in all these areas to seek equitable treatment for
cooperative and condominium home owners. In this important election year, this
includes making candidates aware of the many cooperatives and condominiums
among the constituency whose support they seek. Page 6 describes efforts to
bring these issues to the attention of the candidates for Mayor.
Please speak of coop/condo issues with each and every candidates for City
office that you meet as Primary Day approaches on September 10th and then
the election on November 5th. The more our elected officials understand about
cooperatives and condominiums, the better our chances of fair treatment.