We’re pleased to share with you the National Association of Housing Cooperative’s 1st Progress Report – which highlights 2012 activities and accomplishments. We hope you enjoy taking a look back at last year’s Annual Conference and the many goals we achieved together to strengthen NAHC – America’s Home for Cooperative Housing.
Please feel free to share this 2012 Progress Report with other members in your community and with other organizations – it’s a great way to show people what NAHC does with the support and hard work of members like you.
You can download a copy of the report from the NAHC website, at www.coophousing.org
Please make sure that any owners who received letters from the Department of Finance asking if their unit is their primary residence to complete and return the form on the second page of that letter. Each form is bar coded so that the information provided can be quickly entered into City records for accurate distribution of abatements on bills for Fiscal 2013/2014.
On March 11, 2013, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, along with Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Council Member Mark Weprin, sent a letter to NYC Department of Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel stating that they were “surprised and dismayed to learn that School Tax Relief Program (STaR) recipients were receiving notices revoking their abatement.”
The letter said, “Given these reports, we are particularly concerned about the tight time frame DOF has provided to property owners to respond, particularly when this is a brand new requirement that many were not expecting. Most property owners received notification from DOF requiring submission of the form in early March. With a deadline of April 1st, that provides less than a month to respond. We strongly urge you to extend the deadline for co-op and condo owners to respond to May 1st.”
March 1st is the deadline for applications for FEMA grants to repair homes devastated by tropical storm Sandy.
Even though FEMA is not processing grants for cooperative corporations and condominium associations to repair buildings and grounds affected by the storm, it is suggested that applications be made prior to the deadline. This will leave open the door for an appeal when they are rejected.
The National Association of Housing Cooperatives believes that FEMA’s position results from a misreading of its mandate and has written to urge a reexamination.
Meanwhile Congressman Steve Israel has written with a similar request to FEMA and to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano (see below) and has also introduced legislation to remedy this situation. Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed that HUD provide block grants to facilitate recovery. His press release and letter to HUD Secretary Donovan follow the information from Senator Israel.
Representatives of the Department of Finance met with industry leaders today to discuss the way that the recently enacted changes to the abatement program will be implemented.
Because it is late in the City’s 2013 fiscal year which began in July 1, 2012 and ends on June 30, 2013, the changes will be deferred to July 1 , 2013 bills.
April 2013 bills will continue to follow the pattern that the City established in July, giving abatements to all units that qualified for them in the fiscal year 2012 (which ended on June 30, 2012). The Department of Finance will send a letter and chart in February , 2013 telling management how to distribute what has been received.
On property tax bills for July 1, 2013 payment, the Department of Finance will include all changes due for City fiscal year 2013 (which ends on June 30, 2013) as well as those for the first quarter of City fiscal year 2014 which begins on July 1, 2013. Buildings with average assessed values of $60,000 per unit or less will be credited with the full first year of increased abatement on that billing, plus the first quarter of the City’s fiscal year 2014 . Units that are not the primary residence of their owners will have their abatement reduced by 50% of what was credited to it for City fiscal year 2013 and will be credited with ¼ of the abatement on each of the bills for City fiscal year 2014, as their abatement is phased out.
In a strong effort to ascertain whether units are the primary residence of their owners, the Department of Finance is checking recipients of the STAR abatement and also reviewing Income Tax records to help with address verification. Additionally, the Department of Finance is writing now to some 122,000 units that don’t appear to them to be primary residences, to give the individuals living there a chance to prove that their coop/condo is their primary residence.
Condo unit owners whose units are not their primary residences should anticipate increased bills in July , 2013 .
Cooperatives with many units that are not the primary residences of their owners — and most particularly buildings where the bank holding the mortgage takes monthly payments from the cooperative for property tax and water & sewer payments — should prepare themselves and their lenders for the likely increased payment that will be due in July.
Note that an individual can still receive abatements on up to two additional units in the same cooperative or condominium as their primary residence, but investment apartments in other buildings, pieds-a-terre, etc., will have their abatement reduced by 50% for the first year of the extender (all charged against the July 2013 bill) and by 75% for the second year which begins with that same July 2013 bill. After June 30, 2014, those apartments will not receive any abatement.
The Department of Finance website has a fact sheet on the abatement program, and a form for verifying primary residency will soon be available. Anyone registered for the STAR program has already confirmed primary residency and need not take any further action.
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, COMMUNITY PRESERVATION CORPORATION AND CITI LAUNCH $40 MILLION STORM RECOVERY LOAN FUND FOR MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS
Fund Provides Low-Cost Loans to Restore Multi-family Buildings to Habitability
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Director of Housing Recovery Operations Brad Gair, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua, New York City Housing Development Corporation President Marc Jahr, The Community Preservation Corporation President and CEO Rafael E. Cestero, and Citi Community Capital Co-Head Andrew Ditton have launched the Storm Recovery Loan Fund, a pilot program to provide up to $40 million in low-cost loans to fund the repair of multi-family buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Building owners can put the funds toward resiliency measures, like installing state-of-the-art heating and electric plants that are repositioned to withstand the next storm by being located on higher floors and/or in waterproof compartments. This focus on mitigation will decrease the cost of recovery and reduce the destructive impact of future storms. The program will also promote green improvements that will conserve energy and save money over the long term. The new fund blends a subsidy from Housing Preservation and Development with Community Preservation Corporation financing to provide loans that are below market rate, allowing owners to make needed repairs in the aftermath of Sandy.
“These loans will enable multi-family property owners to restore buildings to working order and allow hundreds of residents displaced by Sandy back in their homes,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The goal of the funding is not only to have these owners remediate hazardous conditions, but also to encourage them to make improvements that increase resiliency to climate-related events.”
“Returning these buildings to safe conditions and protecting them from future damage benefits our residents immediately by returning them to their homes, and saves the City and taxpayers money in the long term,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “The preservation and long-term health of our multifamily housing stock is vital to keeping New York City livable and sustainable.”
“This fund will go a long way toward helping us fulfill our mission to return every resident displaced by Sandy to permanent housing, and it will have the added benefit of helping building owners rebuild stronger and smarter,” said Housing Recovery Operations Director Gair.
“It is critical that owners of multifamily buildings have the resources available to get back up and running as quickly as possible,” said Commissioner Wambua. “The Storm Recovery Loan Fund uses City resources to leverage private dollars at below market rates. We are grateful for the commitment our partners have shown in helping fellow New Yorkers rebuild after Sandy. CPC, Citi and HDC have partnered with us to lead this effort to develop financing programs that will help restore our housing stock. I am pleased to announce the launch of the Storm Recovery Loan Fund that will set building owners on the road to recovery.”
“HDC’s credit support has played an important role in bringing Citi’s financial power to bear on behalf of CPC and the City’s irreplaceable affordable housing stock. Creating this pilot program from this pool of funds to serve those who have been harmed by Hurricane Sandy is the best thing we can do right now,” HDC President Jahr said. “Together we are expanding the boundaries of what is possible and together is how we will make these transactions work for the owners, the tenants, as well as the long-term resiliency of these multi-family buildings.”
HDC will provide a 10 percent first loss credit enhancement on construction loans financed through the program. In this pilot phase, the majority of applications for the Storm Recovery Loan Fund will be primarily for buildings between five and 45 units, although larger buildings will be considered. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and funding is available both to repair storm damage and to mitigate the potential impact of future storms.
“Although Superstorm Sandy occurred almost two months ago, thousands of multifamily residents are unable to go home, or are living in apartments with significant storm damage. Building owners want to quickly repair and protect their buildings from future storms. CPC’s core mission is to create sound rental housing for lower income families and to rebuild communities, so we are proud to be part of the City’s rebuilding efforts,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO, The Community Preservation Corporation. “The Storm Recovery Loan Fund makes it easier for multifamily building owners to access the capital needed to restore buildings to adequate living conditions and make them more sustainable for years to come. We are proud to work with our partners HPD, HDC, the NYC Comptroller and Citi to help communities rebuild.”
“Citi is proud to be part of this initiative to help rebuild the communities that were affected by this catastrophic event and we will continue to be an active participant in the ongoing recovery efforts,” said Andrew Ditton, Co-Head of Citi Community Capital. “We are confident that the Storm Recovery Loan Fund will help provide a quick and efficient funding source throughout the rebuilding process.”
Both for-profit and not-for-profit owners of multifamily buildings in NYC are eligible to apply for the Storm Recovery Loan Fund. Loan proceeds may be used for repair work ranging from systems replacement and storm mitigation retrofits to gut rehab, where necessary. Storm Recovery Loans may have up to a 30-year term. CPC’s portion of the loan will have a rate of approximately 4.5%, and HPD’s funds have an interest rate of 1%, for a blended rate below other conventional financing.
All projects must comply with HPD standard specifications and substantial rehab projects must achieve Enterprise Green Communities Certification. In keeping with NYC’s Greener Greater Buildings Plan, all of the properties financed under this program will be benchmarked for energy usage and retrofit for energy savings will be included in their scopes of work. All buildings burning number 6 oil will be converted to comply with the City’s Clean Heat initiative. In addition, gut rehabilitation projects must meet HPD’s construction specifications and design guidelines.
Building owners who are interested in applying for the program should go to NYC.gov or call 311.
The deadline to apply for a Small Business Administration loan to fund recovery from the effects of Tropical Storm Sandy has been extended to January 28, 2013. Cooperatives and condominiums and their unit owners are all eligible to apply for these loans. See the following detailed announcement and fact sheet:
by Andrew J. Hawkins (as reported in Crains, November 19, 2012)
The city will continue to honor an expired $430 million tax break for hundreds of thousands of condo and co-op owners, despite news that the state Legislature will not convene this year to renew it.
Lawmakers were expected to vote to extend the popular tax break for property owners, retroactive to its mid-2012 expiration, in a special session before January. But Superstorm Sandy and the uncertainty surrounding control of the state Senate has reportedly persuaded Gov. Andrew Cuomo to cancel his plans to convene a session, leaving many issues, including the tax abatement, dangling.
But the city’s Department of Finance said it would continue to apply the tax break to property owners’ bills, in the hope that it will eventually be retroactively renewed.
“The city will send out the bills this month as originally planned, and we expect that new legislation will be acted on early in the next legislative session,” a Finance Department spokesman said in a statement to The Insider. “The abatement will be applied.”
Spokespersons for Mr. Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and legislative leaders did not respond to a request for comment.
Condo and co-op owners have been in limbo for weeks, worried that a continued delay in Albany would send their property-tax bills soaring by as much as one-third. Property owners seeking information from the Finance Department are being directed to the agency’s website for updates. But that information is even more worrisome.
If the average assessed value of a condo or co-op is more than $15,000, taxes on the property will increase by approximately 21%, according to the Finance Department’s website. If the average is $15,000 or less, taxes will increase by 33%. As of last June, the expiration of the abatement had been expected by the city to raise property taxes by $430 million for 360,000 apartments.
“This is a major concern,” said one real estate insider.
Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, said she was hopeful that city officials would commit to keeping tax bills low before the Legislature could vote to reauthorize the program.
“Co-ops and condos are very, very nervous as they try to prepare realistic budgets,” she said. “Without the abatement, the prop tax component of a maintenance bill for a co-op will go up on the order of 20% to 22%. Condos … will directly experience this terrible surprise.”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney Invites You To Join Her For
In Manhattan or Queens
On Disaster Relief for Small Businesses
Monday, November 19, 2012
9:00am – 10:30am
Baruch College Newman Vertical Campus
55 Lexington Avenue, 14th Floor
(entrance on E. 25th Street between 3rd & Lexington Ave.)
In Cooperation with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, NYS Senators Tom Duane, Liz Krueger, Jose Serrano, and Daniel Squadron, NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblymembers Brian Kavanaugh, Dick Gottfried, Deborah Glick, Micah Kellner, and Dan Quart, Council Members Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez, Dan Garodnick, and Jessica Lappin, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYS Senator Elect Brad Hoylman, CUNY Baruch College Field Center for Entrepreneurship
Speakers Include Representatives from:
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- NYC Department of Small Business Services
- NYS Department of Financial Services
- Baruch College Small Business Development Center
- Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
11:30am – 1:00pm
Manducatis Rustica Restaurant
46-31 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City
In Cooperation with State Senator Mike Gianaris, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan and Aravella Simotas, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Vallone Jr., Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens Community Board 2
Speakers Include Representatives from:
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- NYC Department of Small Business Services
- NYS Department of Financial Services
- LaGuardia College Small Business Development Center
For more information call: 212-860-0606
In response to the dire need for additional short term housing in New York City as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums urge co-ops and condos across the city that they adopt an “emergency modification” of their building rules for the next 6 months.
This modification should amend the sublet rules for proposed “qualified tenants” that have been displaced and approved by unit owners/shareholders as follows:
1. qualified tenant is not subject to a minimum lease term
2. all sublet fees/application fees are waived for short term rentals to qualified tenants
3. there will be expedited approvals (72 hours) for qualified tenants
4. there shall be no limitations to the number leases issued to qualified tenants
I believe that, if adopted, this will free up thousands of vacant apartments in co-op and condominium buildings across the city for short term rentals.
HOUSING THOSE MADE HOMELESS BY THE HURRICANE
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been displaced from their homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and will need some form of temporary housing. FNYHC urges its member cooperatives and condominiums to consider ways to make vacant or infrequently used units available to these families. The Red Cross is providing financial help towards payment of rent, and would serve as an intermediary in bringing families to the coop or condo board.
FNYHC has already heard of numerous instances of shareholders requesting and securing quick board approval for friends or family displaced by the hurricane to stay in shareholder apartments. We add these cooperatives to our list of silent heroes of the hurricane rescue. Now we encourage members to do more.
Naturally, complying with our suggestion of opening this policy much wider, will require consultation with your professionals and may also involve formal modification of the sublet policies of most cooperatives and some condominiums. An expedited review process would also be desirable.
If your cooperative or condominium has units available and is interested in making them available to the City, please contact FNYHC at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Real Estate Board of New York email@example.com.