Condominiums and Cooperatives

Condos and Co-Ops are one of the largest sources of housing in New York City and even more so in Manhattan. New York has about 370,000 cooperative apartments (with maybe 1,000,000 or more persons) and many thousands more with shared-ownership (Mitchell-Lama cooperatives, condominiums and similar). {NYC Cooperative Community Organization}. Most New Yorkers who live in these apartments are happy and content. However for some living in a co-op or condo can become a nightmare. At the center of this unfortunate reality are wanton abuses by co-op boards. The victims of this pattern of absurd behavior are co-op shareholders; widespread allegations of fraud, intimidation, embezzlement and harassment have plagued New York’s co-op board shareholders for years. Exacerbating this bleak reality is the fact that absolutely no concrete legislation exists to protect co-op shareholders from the whims of their respective co-op boards. As your State Senator, I will attempt to remedy this issue by:

* Mandating that co-op boards disclose all pertinent decisions regarding tenants in a maximum of 45 days. There are currently no limits or stipulations regarding how long a co-op board must notify a shareholder of pertinent information regarding renovation requests, requests to rent out their space, etc.

* Pass legislation which stipulates that in a situation where a co-op board forces a resident out of their space, the board in question must monetarily compensate the individual either 10% more than the market value of their living space, or pay the remainder of said individual’s mortgage; whichever payment is higher.

* Dictate that all co-op and condo boards post financial statements on the Internet.

* Create a co-op review board panel to investigate shareholder grievances and solve them in an equitable manner.  This entity will be composed of three members; one chosen randomly, one by the board, and one by the shareholders, and would change members based upon the issue being investigated.

* Introduce legislation to renew co-op board tax abatement for the 2013 fiscal year, and retroactively allow for deductions to be made for the current fiscal year, as the Assembly’s incompetence should not harm co-op shareholders.

* Immediately pass legislation to save Roosevelt Island’s Mitchell Lama facility. Experts have ascertained that if the current privatization plan becomes a reality, co-op shareholders will be subject to a 17.8% increase in Multiple Capital Improvement fees resulting in an extra $243,876 for the co-op board. Even worse, Roosevelt Island’s Mitchell Lama facility has withdrawn from the City’s J51 Rent Control Plan (Mitchell Lama Residents Coalition), which offers a tax credit for entities who offer rent controlled apartments for low and middle-income individuals.

Unlike other politicians, I will not sell out low-income individuals for tens of thousands of dollars from an industry that will help finance my political future. 

Michael  Zumbluskas

New York County Independence Party Chairman

New York State Senate, 28th District 

"Leadership for Practicality, Not Ideology"