The New York State legislative season is here again, and bills of all kinds are being considered, including housing. Some of these bills directly impact co-op and condo board members, managers and residents. Housing is also on the agenda in the City Council.
As this article was being written, there were 224 bills before the Assembly for 2013-14 that related to housing (many of these bills also have counterparts in the state Senate). Many are specifically for rental housing—at least 20 specifically dealt with New York City Housing Authority projects. Some only dealt with one geographic area—for example, two addressed “towns in the Peconic Bay area.” Others could apply to both rental and co-op/condo housing—many of these are bills to help senior citizens.
If you narrow the search criteria to “condo,” you’ll find only 45 bills. Yet, these bills (some of which also apply to co-ops) deal with important issues. For example, one bill, A00305, would mandate that in co-op and condo conversions, the majority of the board members must be shareholders or owners. Another, A00372, would establish a co-op/condo part in NYC civil court. Bill S02993, also A03010, relates to establishing “a new classification for properties held in condominium and cooperative form for assessment purposes” – a response to huge tax increases in Eastern Queens several years ago. And yet another, S02291, would enact a condo owner’s bill of rights.
If one searches for “co-op” only 10 bills come up. Bill A00940 would authorize the voluntary dissolution of Mitchell-Lama co-ops. There are four bills to prevent the warehousing of co-op apartments, a long-term problem in New York.
A search of the City Council website, on the other hand, showed few housing bills, and none specifically for co-ops or condos. Since co-ops and condos are governed by state legislation, bills dealing with them are usually found in Albany.