SAVE THE DATE!
New York State Assembly Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama
Date: Monday, May 25, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Bronx Library Center, 310 Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10458.
(formerly the Fordham Library in a new building at a new nearby location)
Easiest travel method is to take D train to Fordhm Road and walk a few blocks east to Kingsbridge Road.
There will be another legislative hearing on Mitchell-Lama housing, this time in The Bronx. The hearing is co- sponsored by Assemblyman Keith Wright (Man - D), chair of the Housing Committee, and Assemblyman Michael Blake (BX-D), chair of the Mitchell-Lama subcommittee. Assemblyman Wright is running for Rangel's Congressional seat.
Please mark your calendars and prepare to attend this hearing by downloading the offical notice and submit the Public Hearing Rely Form as soon as possible.
If you are unable to attend please consider sending in testimony about the importance of preserving Mitchell-Lama cooperative developments as affordable housing. CU4ML has been advocating for hearings and we have succeeded in having four hearings to attend since mid February.
Three Important Bills Urged by Support
CU4ML is urging its members to support three important bills currently in the New York State legislature for the 2014-2015 session beginning January, 2015. These are:
- Assembly Bill A08358(L. Rosenthal) -Requires that municipal tax exemptions be expired before a M-L co-op can privatize.
- Assembly Bill A09114(K. Wright) -Initiates a four year moratorium on M-L privatizations
- State Senate Bill S6916 (A. Espaillat) [identical to A08358; called "same as"]
We urge you to learn about these bills and advocate for them to your local legislators and your neighbors. To study a bill live links for the Assembly bills. For the senate bill, go to http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S6916
Jeanne Poindexter, Chair, CU4ML Legislative Committee
November 25, 2014
Decision Pending on Trump Village III Taxes
NYS Appeals Court Deciding Whether Or Not Trump Village III Must Pay Real Property Transfer Taxes
On November 17, 2014, arguments were heard by the New York State Court of Appeals, regarding whether or not Trump Village III, a Mitchell-Lama coop that went private, must pay New York City's RPTT (Real Property Transfer Tax). By dissolving itself as a PHFL Mitchell-Lama cooperative corporation and then reorganizing as a new corporation under the NYBCL (New York Business Incorporation Law) the City of New York has claimed that it constituted a transfer of ownership from one company to another. Trump Village III claimes otherwise.
Documents on this case are available in the NYS Court of Appeals web site. Look for Case Number 2013-00337 and the title of the case is Trump Village Section 3, Inc. Respondent v. City of New York, et al., Appellants.
"Preserve Affordable Mitchell-Lama Cooperative Housing:
Recommendations from Cooperators United for Mitchell-Lama"
(Also known as "The White Paper")
"City Politicians Cover Letter"
"Preserve Affordable Mitchell-Lama Cooperative Housing" sets forth CU4ML's request for immediate enactment of several housing policies and a legislative agenda for 2014. Background information on the success of Mitchell-Lama coops is provided.
Further, some of the threats of converting Mitchell-Lama coops into market rate developments is highlighted.
The accompanying document, "City Politicians Cover Letter" is a letter from CU4ML to our elected officials, calling for both the preservation and increase in Mitchell-Lama cooperatives.
Click on the links to download these documents. Preserve Affordable M-L Co-ops and Letter to City from CU4ML
CU4ML Members Testify at City Council Hearing on HPD
On March 24, 2014, the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings, chaired by Assembly Member Jumaane Williams, held a public hearing on housing agency oversight. Three members of Cooperators United for Mitchell-Lama (CU4ML) attended and offered testimony regarding Council oversight of HPD’s responsibilities for setting and amending HPD’s “Mitchell-Lama Rules.” The participants were grateful for a few minutes before the committee and hope that the Council will find our complaints worthy of attention within its oversight responsibilities.
To continue reading what members had to say, download the full text here.
Sign On To These Important Petitions
CU4ML is encouraging you to sign two important petitions to preserve Mitchell-Lama and end discrimination of co-ops by FEMA :
Prohibiting privatization of Mitchell-Lama cooperatives, and to ban conversion to less affordable forms of housing such as Art XI housing. Download the PDF here .
Bring it to the Membership Meeting on March 29 or mail it to:
CU4ML c/o/ UHAB, 120 Wall Street, 20th floor, New York, New York 10004
Please sign onto the petition supporting the passage of H.R. 2887 (Rep. Israel) in the U.S. House of Representatives to end discrimination by FEMA in denying grants to cooperative housing.
For instance, Village East Towers in Manhattan is a Mitchell-Lama Coop, in Flood Zone 1, which bore all the costs of damage inflicted by Storm Sandy of October 2012. Click here for the link to support this petition at MoveOn.org.
Proposed Changes To The Michell Lama Rules
On November 6, 2013 HPD held a hearing on proposed changes to the Mitchell Lama rules. For a copy of those proposed changes, click on the link here. Proposed HPD Changes
Petition To Rescind HPD Rule §3-14(i)(15)
After the December 1st meeting, members took copies of the petition back to their respective coops and to gather more signatures. The result was 451 signatures and was presented to HPD Commissioner, Wambua on January 24, 2013. CU4ML's president received confirmation via mail on February 2, 2013, however there has been no response from to cover letter.
PETITION TO HPD TO RESCIND HPD RULE §3-14(i)(15) as adopted December 6, 2011
The undersigned members and friends of Cooperators United for Mitchell-Lama
hereby PETITION the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
to rescind HPD rule §3-14(i)(15) as adopted December 6, 2011,
and not to allow conversions of Mitchell-Lama cooperatives to HDFC cooperatives.
If our petition to rescind §3-14(i)(15) is rejected, then we petition further that:
- No refinanced Mitchell-Lama cooperative shall be withdrawn from the Mitchell-Lama Preservation Program or similar financing by conversion to HDFC.
- There shall be a process to provide the full disclosure / deficiency statements / shareholder comment period currently mandated under the Martin Act and incorporated into the privatization process of a Mitchell-Lama cooperative.
- Conversion of a cooperative from Mitchell-Lama to HDFC shall require approval by at least 2/3 of the apartments of the entire cooperative in a vote taken after full disclosure and correction of all deficiencies of
- disclosures in the information provided to the shareholders as the basis for their voting.
What you can do right now.
We are circulating the petition through the end of the year. The most important step you can is to download the pdf of the petition here, print it and sign it. Gather as many other signatures as you can from you co-op or other Mitchell-Lama co-ops as you can. Then mail it to CU4ML c/o UHAB, 120 Wall Street, 20th floor, New York, NY 10005.
We are also distributing a booklet that describes the rule change.
You can download the booklet here Article XI Conversion: A New Treat to Mitchell-Lama Cooperatives
HPD's New Rule Seeks to Move M-L Co-ops to HDFC
The CU4ML Board Has Declared Its Opposition to Transferring Mitchell-Lama Cooperatives to Article XI HDFC Cooperatives
In a letter to Mathew Wambua, Commissioner of HPD, Richard Froehlich, HDC, and Eric T. Schneiderman, NYS Attorney General, the CU4ML board expressed its opposition to efforts by HPD and HDC to encourage Mitchell-Lama cooperatives to reconstitute as HDFC (Housing Development Fund Company) cooperatives under PHFL Article XI. HPD adopted this new regulation 3-14(i)(15) in December 2011 without public comment.
In its cover letter and position statement, the CU4ML Board stated that adopting this type of conversion would make the ML cooperatives less affordable, less diverse, and less financially stable. Cooperators who want to remain in their homes would be burdened with hidden costs and would lose other benefits that keep their costs down. They claim that these conversions will benefit only those shareholders who collect wind-fall profits when they move out (a position echoed on June 26 by HPD Commissioner Wambua at Manhattan Borough President Stringer’s Mitchell-Lama Task Force meeting), while leaving remaining residents with the bills.
The Position Statement from the CU4ML Board identified several reasons for its objections including:
- Impact on remaining residents:
- Shareholders would not be protected by the Martin Act.
- Shareholders would be mislead about the income to the cooperative.
- Shareholders would be mislead about transfer taxes as a cost of conversion.
- The impact on the cooperative itself:
- Conversion to HDFC would require withdrawal from ML, a condition not required for eligibility for HDC financial assistance.
- The net value of flip taxes would provide only a fraction of the support available from HDC for major repairs.
- Both affordability of the housing and diversity of the resident communities would be greatly reduced.
- Impact on the waiting lists:
- The ML waiting lists of apartment applicants would be eliminated. CU4ML regards this as a breach of faith with the public.
- The windfall profits of shareholders moving out is not fair to the NYS tax-payers who have subsidized these developments for years:
- The real estate tax abatement granted to ML cooperators makes additional subsidy as windfall profit upon move-out altogether unjustifiable.
- Article XI conversion of ML cooperatives would remove tens of thousands of dwelling units from NYC’s stock of housing currently affordable for moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers.
You can download the Board's letter and the CU4ML position paper by clicking on the links.
CU4ML comments on HPD's proposed changes to the
On August 3, 2011, HPD proposed 16 amendments to the rules governing Mitchell-Lama and other city-aided Limited-Profit Housing Companies. On September 13, 2011, a hearing was held at HPD to allow Mitchell-Lama residents (and the public) to present commentary on the proposed amendments to the "Mitchell-Lama Rules."
At its board meeting in August, the CU4ML board of directors found that six of the 16 proposed amendments were of particular concern to the organization's mission to preserve the Mitchell-Lama cooperatives: proposals number 3 [amending §3-02(n)(4)], number 4 [amending §3-02(p)(3)], number 6 [eliminating §3-03(e)], number 8 (adding paragraph (1-a) to §3-07(b), number 13 [amending §3-14(i)(6)], and number 14 [amending §3-14(i)(6-a)(i)]. Following is a summary of the comments expressed by eight CU4ML board members: J. Cohen, M. Foutz, R. Heitler, J. Meyler, A. Niederman, J. Poindexter, E. Reimann and S. Stroman as representatives of CU4ML.
Click below to download the official statements from our elected officials:
Take Advantage of CU4ML's New Listserv
CU4ML's Education Committee has implemented a new list-serve site to help us reach out to each other more effectively. By signing up with our list-serve site, at firstname.lastname@example.org members can post questions to other registered members, which will then be distributed as individual emails or regular digests, (as determined by their preferences) to every one in the group. Subscribers can respond to those questions if they know the answer or can make a comment.
Only bona fide, dues paying members can join this listserv and it is moderated by Jasmine Askew at UHAB.org. We hope that it will become a vital service for our organization, and enable us to combine our collective knowledge and experience as we move toward our goals. To join CU4ML, go to the Membership page on this website.
Joining the listserv is easy. Follow these steps to SUBSCRIBE.
- Click on "New Message" in your email program and send a blank email to email@example.com. The subject line should also be blank.
- After this, you will receive a message telling you whether your request was accepted or not: if the subscription to the list is subject to any approval, the list owner may choose not to subscribe you. If so, do not send several other requests: it is useless as the result will remain the same.
- You can possibly send a message directly to the list owner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to explain why you really want to subscribe to the list...
- To UNSUBSCRIBE send a blank email to email@example.com
Make sure the account you send the mail from is the one you want subscribed to the list.
If not, go to the the FAQ page on www.riseup.net at the following link for more information
Note: you will sometimes be asked to confirm your subscription request before it can be processed. If so, please conform to the instructions contained in the message you receive.
The Legislation Committee for CU4ML works to draft and support legislation that benefits and preserves Mitchell-Lama housing. We have two bills that we are supporting in the current legislative session, S2171 and S3326, below.
If you have ideas for legislation or need any information about the bills that we currently support, please e-mail us at CU4ML@uhab.org.
Senator Liz Kruger has also introduced legislation to create an Office of Ombudsman for Coop and Condo Owners. Below are links to the that bill on the Open NYS Senate a pdf of the legislation on this site.
We are happy to assist shareholders in reaching out to elected officials to build support for our legislation. Please contact us to find out more. List of pending legislation the organization supports: To see the full text and status of these pieces of legislation, please use this link (http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi and search under year 2010) to the New York State Senate’s legislation page.
NYS Legislation to create
Office of Ombudsman
for Coop and Condo Owners
Legislation to create an Office of Ombudsman to act as a go between parties living in coops, condos, HOAs (be they year round or seasonal developments) to deal with relevant issues impacting them. Please take the time to click on the link above for the NY State Senate or download a pdf here . Then send an email of SUPPORT of the legislation to Senator Liz Kruger. Your email should state your name, your development(s) you live in and the reason(s) you would support such a legislation. The email can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose it to be.
Please also let your friends, neighbors, and relatives know about this legislation and ask them to send an email in support of the bill. And remember, this is a New York State bill — so friends and relatives living in coops, condos or HOAs outside NYC will also benefit from this legislation. Lead Sponsor: Liz Kruger
Moratorium Until December 31, 2010
on the Privatization of Mitchell-Lama Rentals and Co-ops
This bill would impose a moratorium on the privatization of Mitchell-Lama rentals and coops until December 31, 2010. During the moratorium, DHCR is required to study and make recommendations on ways to preserve and expand the supply of this housing. Lead Sponsors: Duane, Kruger, Espada
Rent Stabilizes All Mitchell-Lamas
This bill would place all buildings that leave the Mitchell-Lama program, including buildings that have already exited the program, under rent stabilization. This includes units in privatized coop buildings where a shareholder elects not to become a shareholder in the new, private coop and instead becomes a renter.
Lead Sponsor: Stewart-Cousins