News

32 BJ Contract Agreement Reached a Week Early

32 BJ Contract Agreement Reached a Week Early

Agreement was reached on Friday afternoon, April 13, 2018 on a four year contract between Local 32BJ SEIU and the owners of residential buildings – including cooperatives and condominiums in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island where the 32BJ members work.

Agreement came after many hours and weeks of intense, but always civil discussion between the parties.

This pattern agreement includes fair wages for 32BJ members, continuation of their excellent benefit plans, and new clauses that will make employments issues more transparent and predictable and resolve issues quickly.

The negotiating teams shook hands today, obviating any concern about a strike on April 20th, when the present contract expires. But Union members now have to vote to ratify the agreement.

Details of the agreement will be provided in future notices.

Con Ed incentive program for oil to gas conversions

Con Ed incentive program for oil to gas conversions

Con Ed is beginning another incentive program for oil to gas conversions on March 1. It will operate on a first-come, first-served basis and is available to residential and commercial buildings. This program is separate from the Area Growth Zone program and is expected to enable participants to begin gas heating service by Fall 2018. See further details below.

Eligibility and Incentives

  • Residential buildings 5-100 units (up to $75,000 in incentives) currently burning oil
  • Commercial buildings and buildings with 101+ units (up to $35,000 in incentives) currently burning oil
  • A new high efficiency boiler must be installed as part of the conversion (new burners alone do not count)
  • The new service must be firm gas service, not interruptible
  • #4 oil buildings are eligible for new service lines installed in the street by Con Ed at no cost; #2 oil buildings must have adequate capacity available in the existing gas service lines

Other requirements, such as installation deadlines, apply. Interested owners should review the program application for additional details.  Owners (Cooperatives and Condominiums) interested in participating should take steps now to assess the project’s costs and ensure the building is eligible, if they have not already done so.  FREE ESTIMATES are available for any building interested in assessing its internal conversion costs.

More Information

  • Owners with questions about the program or who would like a free estimate of conversion costs should contact Jamie Kusky (KUSKYJ@coned.com) or Armando Tejeda (TEJEDAA@coned.com)

Free Financial Education Tool for Housing Co-Ops, Condos & HOAs

Free Financial Education Tool for Housing Co-Ops, Condos & HOAs

All National Cooperative Bank (NCB) customers, co-op employees and co-op members now have access to a free online financial education program to help provide a solid understanding of key financial concepts, such as savings, investing, mortgages, credit cards, credit scores, financing higher education and more.

Participants can access this free, online educational tool in the comfort of their own home. With each 10-minute segment, NCB customers, co-op employees and co-op members will be on their way to increasing their financial savvy and taking control of their future.

You can access this tool at https://atwork.everfi.net/ncb-housing

Local Law 153 of 2016 In Effect June 4th

Local Law 153 of 2016 In Effect June 4th

Local Law 153 of 2016 will go into effect on June 4th. Property owners are now required to provide tenants with a notice regarding procedures that should be followed when a gas leak is suspected.

In order to comply with this new law, owners must: provide such notice to each tenant and prospective tenant with the lease or lease renewal form and post and maintain a similar notice in a common area of the building(s).

Failure to post and provide this notice can result in a violation issued by the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Owners are permitted to download and use the provided sample of this notice through HPD’s website (you may also download the form by Clicking Here).

MCI Abatement Changes Affecting Co-ops and Condos

MCI Abatement Changes Affecting Co-ops and Condos

When the NYS legislature renewed rent regulations effective July 2015, there were some significant changes that affect co-ops and condos.

If a co-op/condo has an unsold share holding with one or more rent controlled and/or rent stabilized apartments, and the Holder of Unsold Shares obtains an MCI rent increase order, now there is a significant financial benefit for the building as well – a large credit on property taxes.

Example: Cooperative has 95 units, gets a $400,000 exterior restoration job. The Holder of Unsold Shares has 6 rent stabilized apartments, and applies for and gets a rent increase. (That alone is an appreciable financial benefit for the building, since improved cash flow on an unsold share holding tends to increase the value of all apartments.) Now the building can also get a direct tax credit of $44,444.44,  11.1%* of the cost of the work. This comes in the form of a one-time credit on the property tax, the “MCI Abatement.” The co-op/condo gets the entire amount in one year.

This is not a J-51 abatement (which sometimes come with many strings attached) but a new “MCI Abatement” arranged by NYC Dept of Finance and the NYS Housing Division (DHCR.)  It goes to the building owners, not the Holder of Unsold Shares, since the improvement was paid for by the building.

So if this credit is available only if there is an MCI rent increase order in the building, what work in buildings qualifies?  Eligible work involves replacing a “building wide system.” “Building Wide System” has a complicated definition that is not always logical. Most high-priced jobs do qualify.  There are also filing deadlines.

Our thanks to Ed Tristram Associates, Inc. for this article.

Courses to Improve Energy Efficiency

Courses to Improve Energy Efficiency

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator is offering a series of hands-on training courses to improve the energy efficiency of your building(s). Individual courses will include: Heating and Air Sealing, Water Conservation and Plumbing, and Energy Efficiency Electrical. These courses will show you how to diagnose efficiency challenges, implement low-cost solutions, and find financing for your projects. Course fees are only $25-50!

Course Dates: Heating and Air Sealing (February 8-9), Water Conservation and Plumbing (February 15), Energy Efficiency Electrical (February 16)

Time: 9am-3pm

Location:
Solar One Green Workforce Training Lab (subway and parking nearby)
29-76 Northern Blvd.
Long Island City [Queens]

Click here to register or register at: NYCRetrofitTraining.eventbrite.com

Questions? Contact jennifer@nycretrofit.org​

REVERSE MORTGAGE UPDATE

REVERSE MORTGAGE UPDATE

Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who responded to our call for messages to your state Assembly representatives to ask for their support of Jeff Dinowitz’s bill that would have brought us a significant step closer to reverse mortgage availability for seniors in housing cooperatives. The legislative session ended without passage of this legislation, in part because the Assembly was concerned about consumer protections. Our plan is to amend the legislation to include these protections and to have our champions reintroduce it in both houses when the new session begins in January.

But now there is a threat to reverse mortgage availability for condominiums. HUD issued a ruling in May stating that it will no longer provide HECMs (its own reverse mortgages) to seniors in condominiums in certain states. While New York is not one of the states in question, FNYHC is nevertheless submitting strong comments in opposition to this curtailment of availability of reverse mortgages.

FNYHC will continue to keep members updated on developments.

YOUR HELP URGENTLY NEEDED: ASK YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBER TO SUPPORT REVERSE MORTGAGES IN CO-OPS

YOUR HELP URGENTLY NEEDED: ASK YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBER TO  SUPPORT REVERSE MORTGAGES IN CO-OPS

Legislation that would allow Reverse Mortgages for seniors 70 and over who make their homes in cooperatives has passed the New York State Senate and has been introduced in the Assembly. If passed this would open the door for lenders not interested in FHA to begin to make reverse mortgage loans in NY State (despite 16 years of efforts by CNYC and the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, HUD has no intention of making reverse mortgage loans to cooperatives nor to write guidelines for reverse mortgage loans).

The Albany legislative session ends on June 17th, so we ask your support to help ensure that the Assembly bill is passed before then.  It is bill # A.10246 sponsored by Jeff Dinowitz from Riverdale.

Please write to ask your own Assembly member to support it and write also to Keith Wright, chairman of the Housing Committee, which now has the bill.  Assembly member Wright can be reached at wrightk@assembly.state.ny.us and you can find your own representative at nyassembly.gov/mem.

Ask that they see to it that A.10246 passes this session. Briefly tell them what it will mean to you (and to the seniors in your building) as constituents.

Please copy CNYC on your correspondence. (Rothman@CNYC.coop)

Reverse mortgages enable senior to live on in the homes and the neighborhoods that have been theirs for many years. Owners of private homes and condominiums can already access reverse mortgages. We seek to make these loans available to seniors in cooperatives where the additional scrutiny of any loan by the board would help ensure that the loans are reasonable and affordable.

Many thanks,
Mary Ann Rothman
CNYC Executive Director

P.S. If Jeff Klein is your State Senator, please also write to thank him for having passes S. 7844

REGISTER AND INSPECT COOLING TOWERS

REGISTER AND INSPECT COOLING TOWERS

The NYC Department of Buildings has asked CNYC to make its members aware that building owners and operators now have the opportunity to voluntarily register their cooling towers and evaporative condensers with the Department of Buildings.  Online access to the registration form and additional information can be found at www.nyc.gov/buildings.

This voluntary registration is in anticipation of legislation that with the City Council’s support, will establish regulations to be administered by the Department of Buildings and the Department of Mental Health & Hygiene for the regulation of cooling towers and evaporative condensers.

DOH Order on Bronx Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak

DOH Order on Bronx Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak

On August 6, 2015 the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health issued an Order with respect to the outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease in the Bronx. The Order will be mailed to each property that the City of New York has identified as having a cooling tower.

The Order requires that all persons who own, manage or otherwise control buildings with water-recirculating cooling towers within the City of New York must:

  • Obtain the services of an environmental consultant with demonstrated experience performing disinfection in accordance with current standard industry protocols;
  • Under supervision of the environmental consultant, evaluate the cooling tower and associated equipment for the presence of organic material, biofilm, algae and other visible contaminants;
  • Regardless of the outcome of the evaluation, disinfect/treat the cooling tower and associated equipment in a manner sufficient to control for the presence of Legionella organisms within 14 days of receipt of the letter unless an identical assessment and disinfection procedure has been conducted within the past 30 days; and
  • Maintain records and make available to the city upon request

More information can be found on the City’s Department of Health website.