Assemblyman Braunstein Passes Legislation Protecting Co-Op Shareholders

Assemblyman Edward Braunstein celebrated the passage of his legislation (A.350-C) which ensures vital protections for cooperative tenant-shareholders and makes much-needed clarifications to the law as sought by cooperative corporations. This bill was also sponsored by Senator John C. Liu.

Following passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act in 2019, a historic piece of legislation meant to extend protections for renters in traditional landlord-tenant relationships, tenant-shareholders sought to make clear that provisions of new housing reforms did not apply to their unique form of homeownership. Some provisions meant to restore equity in landlord-tenant relationships stood in conflict with proprietary leases and increased the costs of cooperative management. Assemblyman Braunstein and Senator Liu's bill, passed on June 10 in Albany, rectified any confusion about the effect of HSTPA on cooperative tenant-shareholders.

“The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act inadvertently captured cooperatives, which caused unintended consequences for co-op boards and shareholders in New York City," said Assemblyman Braunstein. "This legislation properly takes into account the unique relationship that co-op boards and corporations have with their shareholders, which is vastly different from the typical landlord-tenant relationship. Exempting cooperatives from these provisions will shield co-op owners from bearing the burden when fellow shareholders fail to meet their financial obligations."

“This legislation finally makes clear that tenant-shareholders in cooperatives are not subject to certain provisions of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act,” said Senator Liu. “Our community in northeast Queens has a large concentration of affordable cooperative housing, and this bill will ensure this form of homeownership remains within reach. Coops will no longer need to fear unintended consequences of the HSTPA, and those tenants in traditional landlord-tenant relationships can rest assured that the HSTPA reforms meant for renters remain fully in effect.”

Warren Schreiber, Co-president, Presidents Co-op & Condo Council said, “The passage of this legislation makes it possible for coops, one of New York City's last bastions of affordable middle-class housing, to remain affordable. New Yorkers facing financial struggles will be able to continue to enjoy the independence that comes with homeownership. A big thank you to our legislators for their lead on the passage of legislation protecting coop shareholders.”

Bob Friedrich, Co-president, Presidents Co-op & Condo Council said, “The road to hell is paved with great intentions and so was the original Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Thankfully, the worst parts of this legislation have now been repealed. Probably the most onerous provision was the limit on security deposits to 1 month’s rent.This meant individuals seeking to move into a co-op who are retired, have limited income or borderline financials could not do so. An act meant to help them, hurt them instead. With the new change in the law, an individual could put up a half or full year of maintenance in an escrow-security account giving the co-op confidence that future maintenance payments would be made and therefore be approved by the co-op.We are thankful that our legislators understand the plight of this vulnerable population and have helped them achieve quality of life living.” 

“It is great to see the NYS Legislature correct the unintended consequences for Coops in the Tenant Protection Act. The entire Coop community is grateful to Senator Liu and Assemblyman Braunstein for their leadership and hard work on this crucial issue. It is a great example of good government at work,” said Geoffrey Mazel, Legal Advisor to the President’s Co-op & Condo Council.