City Council members form voting blocs and caucuses based around race and ethnicity, gender or political ideology. But now there is a caucus focused on those who live in co-ops and condominiums.
A Queens Council member, Mark Weprin, recently formed the Co-op and Condo Caucus and recruited 23 of his colleagues, including West Side Council Member Gale Brewer. Her district has one of the highest concentrations of co-ops and condos in the city.
The caucus’ mission is to meet periodically to discuss ways to tackle co-op and condo dwellers’ concerns. The caucus will also consider how Council legislation will impact residents of these buildings.
“People should understand how they’re financed and how they work,” said Brewer, herself a condo resident. “These are huge complexes, not necessarily understood by my colleagues and the general public.”
When the Council passed initiatives to cut carbon in the city, residents in co-ops and condos would be affected differently from other renters or property owners.
“Someone has to pay for new windows and a new boiler—co-ops, they’re not all on Park Avenue and Central Park West,” Brewer said. “Who’s going to pay for it all?”
Often, the 500,000 families that live in such buildings are subject to laws targeting multiple dwellings that may be inapplicable, said Mary Ann Rothman, Council of New York Co-operatives & Condominiums’ executive director.
“Very often, the City Council lumps them in with other multiple dwellings… and enacts legislation that doesn’t take into account our function as our own small democracies,” Rothman said.
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