The Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums is devoted to the interest of all cooperatives and condominiums.
The primary purpose of the organization is the education of board members of cooperatives and condominiums so they can effectively manage the affairs of their buildings.
The Federation is a tax exempt, non-profit membership organization of housing cooperatives and condominiums founded in 1953 by and for the benefit of all housing cooperatives and condominiums.
- Education of board members on all facets of operating and managing the affairs of their cooperatives and condominiums through educational meetings, seminars and mailings.
- Publications on cooperative and condominium housing topics are a resource center for information about housing cooperatives and condominiums and their service providers.
- Monitoring court decisions and local, state and federal legislation affecting housing cooperatives and condominiums guidance for resident board members involved in establishing majority control of their board or in the conversion of their buildings from rental to cooperative or condominium status speakers for board and shareholder/ unit owner meetings.
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WITH THE PERMISSION of The COOPERATOR NEWSPAPER, an abridged copy of an article, written by the editorial staff of the Cooperator, regarding the history of the FEDERATION of NY HOUSING COOPERATIVES & CONDOMINIUMS and published in the October, 2007 issue of The Cooperator Newspaper follows.
A GUIDING FORCE FOR NEW YORK’S HOUSING COMMUNITY
By Greg Olear
It’s not exactly the United Federation of Planets of Star Trek lore, but The Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums (FNYHC) is an invaluable resource for members of the global housing cooperative and condominium community based in the New York City area.
A tax exempt, non-profit membership organization of housing cooperatives and condominiums, most of them in New York City, the organization’s primary purpose is to educate board members of cooperatives and condominiums so that they can effectively manage the affairs of their buildings. In addition, the Federation monitors court decisions and local, state and federal legislation affecting housing co-ops and condos, providing guidance for resident board members involved in establishing majority control of their board or in the conversion of their buildings from rental to cooperative or condominium status.
A Little Bit of History
“Founded in 1953, when there was a federal program, Section 213, administered by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was one of the most successful programs they had,” explains Greg Carlson, the executive director of FNYHC. “They insured mortgages, so it kept mortgage rates down, which made it affordable for returning veterans to buy homes.”
“The organization continued thus, until the landscape changed in the early 1990s, when two things happened. First, the program lost a lot of its federal funding, as HUD looked to other avenues for urban development. Second, many of the original mortgages were coming to the end of their 40-year terms, and were either being refinanced or paid off outright.
Demonstrating an ability to adapt to change, the Federation again expanded its reach half a decade later when the condo boom hit New York. In 1998, the Federation adopted its new membership, and changed its name to the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums.
“We made it all-inclusive,” Carlson says.
Mission and Programs
The Federation’s mission is, in effect, two fold: to educate and to advocate.
“Our primary mission is to educate boards of directors,” Carlson says. “Our motto is
“AN EDUCATED BOARD IS AN EFFECTIVE BOARD”
To that end, the Federation conducts educational meetings and seminars throughout the five boroughs. Lately, Carlson says, rather than hold all seminars in one centralized location, the Federation has been conducting more town-hall style meetings throughout the city.
“We’ve been trying to get to the people, especially in the outer boroughs,” he says. “We’ve found that people don’t want to go places; they want to stay local. We’ve been going out locally, in Queens, where the majority of our members are, followed by Manhattan, Brooklyn and the other boroughs.”
As advocates, the Federation keeps its members apprised of goings-on in federal, state and local governments that could impact co-ops and condos.
Foundation and Structure
The Federation is a membership organization, with about 250 buildings as members, comprising housing cooperatives and condominiums and the professionals servicing them in New York City, Westchester County, Long Island and other parts of New York State—as well as a few outside the area.
“We have co-op members in Maine, Massachusetts and Illinois,” Carlson says, noting that they have been members for many years.
“It is run by a board of directors. President is Attorney Al Pennisi, a partner at Pennisi, Daniels & Norelli, LLP, in Rego Park, Queens. Greg Carlson is Executive Director.
The future for the Federation promises more of the same, and then some. More good information on all things related to housing cooperatives and condominiums is delivered as expeditiously as possible. An organization with a demonstrated ability to roll with the changes will continue to adapt, and continue to be a leading voice for its members.
“The Federation has a rich history,” Carlson says. “We were there before The Cooperator, we were there before Habitat. We were there before anyone else.”
Greg Olear is a freelance writer, editor, web designer, astrologer and stay-at-home dad living in Highland, New York.