As the legislative session in Albany winds down for the year and the New York City Council continues to address legislation, as always, there are several measures in play with serious implications for the condo and co-op community.
So let’s take a look at some of the legislation that co-op and condo owners, board members and managers are following. Some bills have been around for years, introduced over and over again, while others are new. Some will never get out of committee, while others are serious “contenders.”
In Albany, some housing-related bills go through the Housing Committees in the Assembly and the Senate, but some also go through the Judiciary Committees. As with any important topic, from education to driver’s licenses, there are a bewildering number of bills introduced at any given time.
What’s On Deck
Melissa Mansfield, a spokesperson for the state Assembly, provided three entire pages of co-op and condo-related bills that were in various stages in the legislative process as of April 2009. These ranged from A00832, “which relates to voting rights in a cooperative apartments,” to A2444, “which relates to condo conversion and market tenant rates.” Bill A04946 would, “establish a residential condominium owner’s bill of rights,” while A01129 “relates to management of cooperative apartment buildings,” and A05610 “protects non-purchasing senior citizens threatened by eviction pursuant to a cooperative/condominium conversion plan.”
Some bills even overlap each other or address the same topics. For example, there are separate bills involving condo owners’ bills of rights—one only mentions condo owners, the other, both co-op and condo owners. Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC), says the CNYC follows all relevant bills—including those that relate to rent-regulated housing, since many co-ops and condos have significant numbers of renters. Thanks to the recession, she says that in many cases, “the cooperative or condominium has become the owner of the rent-regulated units through sponsor default or other negotiations.”