In the last couple of months, The Cooperator has been covering the recent issues surrounding Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperatives. Among those areas of concern include co-op buildings that were threatened with foreclosure due to tax delinquency and their inability to pay for water and sewer charges. Other issues facing the HDFC co-op sector are new regulations and the possible loss of tax breaks.
In 2018, New York State Assembly Member Al Taylor of the 71st District (encompassing Hamilton Heights, Harlem and Washington Heights in Manhattan), has been holding a series of forums to address what has been described as an HDFC crisis. In previous testimony before the Housing Committee of the New York City Council, the assembly member called for a moratorium on HDFC co-op foreclosures. This coming Wednesday, Taylor is holding another event on HDFC co-op issues in which co-op representatives will have an opportunity to meet with attorneys to discuss their concerns and ask questions on behalf of their shareholders (The clinic sessions will be held at City College from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; see the end of this article for more details).
Meanwhile, The Cooperator spoke with Darlene Bruce, Esq., a counsel to Taylor, to reflect on the recent past, present and future of the citywide HDFC co-op community.
2018: Stopping the Bleeding
According to Bruce, 2018 was an important and busy year in the fight to protect HDFC co-ops. She recalls the three forums that were held for HDFC cooperators during that period. “The first was a case study on foreclosures, wherein Assemblyman Taylor’s own co-op successfully fought a foreclosure. They have since successfully re-filed as a co-op.”
The second HDFC-related event concentrated on regulatory agreements, which many HDFC co-ops have. A recent version of a regulatory agreement available from the NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) office was reviewed by Bruce. “HPD, though, indicated at that time that they weren’t ready to publish any new versions,” she explains. “They agreed that when they are ready, they will do it in a manner that will include input from the HDFC community.We are waiting for that to happen. HPD must review the document with the mayor first before they release it. Mayoral approval is required. They’re not moving rapidly on this due to the backlash that occurred after the HDFC Coalition and others -- including our offices -- voiced their displeasure with the version HPD presented last year.”