If you've ever served on the board of a co-op or condo, the phrases capital improvements, emergency repair, asbestos remov-
al and (these days, especially) lead paint abatement probably elicit particularly unpleasant associations. With expenditures for such items often totalling tens of thousands of dollars, even the best prepared boards can be caught short when it comes to finding the money to pay for them.
According to Deborah Beck, executive vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), For large capital improvements and repairs, some buildings have to raise funds from assessments, a time-consuming process involving a board resolution and a waiting period before the money actually comes in. If immediate payment is required for the repair or improvement and the building lacks the money, it can be a problem. The board may opt for a band-aid solution that usually invites bigger problems later on.
As many New York City buildings reach maturity and struggle to find the funds for new roofs, boilers, windows, elevators, lobbies and facades, it becomes increasingly important for boards to address the issue of funding capital expenditures. Fortunately, some new sources of funding have recently come on the market.