Points of view

New bill would hamper co-ops


It is inexplicable and indefensible that the City Council continues to fail to recognize the immeasurable value and contributions that honest cooperative owners have brought to this city.  

A bill has again been introduced in the  City Council that would place strict limitations on the way a co-op board responds to an application for the purchase of an apartment, with strict time deadlines and severe penalties for failure to comply.  

The bill is a serious threat to the continued operation of cooperatives as we know them and should be vigorously opposed by all board members and shareholders of cooperatives.

The bill is City Council Intro 0188-2010.  Although it is ostensibly aimed at preventing discrimination by unscrupulous cooperative boards, the legislative preamble specifically admits that there is no evidence that housing discrimination is more prevalent in cooperative buildings than in any other form of housing. Nonetheless, the proposal would institute a uniform process that would severely restrict the ability of a board to respond to an application in a fair and comprehensive manner. It is the very process that has perpetuated co-op ownership in the city, maintained property values and, most recently, when so many private homeowners could ill-afford their living expenses, allowed New York’s co-op community to withstand the financial crisis.

Paul S. Ellis, Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, City Council
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