New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



In My District: Bronx

Eric Dinowitz

District 11, Bronx

Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Norwood, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield and Woodlawn


I  was born and raised in District 11 and taught public school here, and I couldn’t be more honored to now represent it. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. While rent continues to shoot up at an accelerated rate, co-ops and condos offer individuals and families an opportunity to make an investment both in their communities and in their financial future. Part of that investment means ensuring that our children have a city that values and protects the environment and is committed to improvements in the quality of life. I have worked to ensure that our city meets that promise. I’ve cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation that reduce our use of fossil fuels and encourage the electrification of our city. While supporting this legislation, I also recognize that anything that increases costs to a building will increase costs for co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners.


Legislation is not the only avenue to improving the quality of life in our district. When the Department of Transportation redesigns streetscapes, it must be done in a way that does not exacerbate problems with flooding. I have allocated a significant amount of discretionary dollars for the installation of tree pits and channels to convey water runoff, which help alleviate flooding in our buildings’ lobbies. Local projects that reduce the stress on our sewer system are also a priority of mine, as this will reduce the likelihood that a building’s basement will flood from sewer backup.


Co-op and condo board members volunteer their time to serve their neighbors, and I am deeply grateful to them. I was raised in a co-op, and I am now raising my own family in one. The pandemic was a particularly challenging time for our board members, and our co-ops did an incredible job meeting that challenge. When people come to visit District 11, they fall in love with our authenticity and our sense of community. Our co-ops and condos are integral to that, and I am working to ensure our residents have what they need to maintain and improve that feeling.


Marjorie Velázquez

District 13, Bronx

Allerton, City Island, Country Club, Edgewater Park, Ferry Point, Locust Point, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway, Schuylerville, Silver Beach, Spencer Estates, Throggs Neck, Van Nest, Waterbury LaSalle, Westchester Square and Zerega


When people think of the Bronx, they think of a dense, urban metropolis, but the Eastern Bronx can seem more suburban than people expect. Home to both beach communities and cityscapes, District 13 has so much to offer residents, and co-op and condo boards have certainly played a role in giving our community a “small town in a big city” atmosphere. Before becoming the City Council representative for my community, I worked with local co-op and condo boards on ways to improve not only their residences but our neighborhoods. I introduced mayoral candidate and New York Director of State Operations Kathryn Garcia to Edgewater, and discussed with her resilience projects to prevent further storm damage. I’ve walked the streets of City Island with Zach Iscol, commissioner of New York City Emergency Management, and discussed improvements to protect the island. Co-ops and condos offer the unique opportunity of allowing people to truly plant roots and bring not only their residents but our entire community together. 


Pierina Ana Sanchez 

District 14, Bronx

Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham and Kingsbridge


I am not just the council member of District 14, I am also the daughter of District 14. This community raised me, and throughout my career fighting for improved housing access within the city has been my mission. Now, I am taking it back to this district. This is a great space for our residents to live and grow in safe affordable housing, but we have only a 6% homeownership rate, and the economic impact of the pandemic and years of disinvestments have slowed our progress. As we recover, we can do more to expand homeownership through investments in permanent housing and through legislation. My district needs deeper affordability, which is how we will stem displacement and prevent rising costs from pushing residents out of their homes. I hope to use my time as the chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee to advocate for increased homeownership. Co-ops and condos, and particularly limited-equity co-ops, have provided a consistent and stable structure for people to own their homes in New York City. In this district, however, where a large majority of us rent our homes, we need bold policies and initiatives that will ensure more co-op ownership for our residents.


Amanda Farias

District 18, Bronx

Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Clason Point and Harding Park


Everyone deserves to live a life with dignity, and that means living in a safe and affordable place in a neighborhood that provides opportunities to get ahead. The city’s affordability crisis has made these necessities even harder to meet, and, accordingly, governments at all levels must work together to help. District 18 is home to a diverse community of intergenerational immigrant families from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, and elsewhere. Our housing is almost as diverse with a mix of public housing, rent-controlled private buildings, co-op owners and condo owners. Co-ops and condos have provided generations of New Yorkers pipelines to becoming homeowners — one of the biggest investments a family will ever make. Being the owner of a co-op or condo apartment is more than just buying a home; it is about investing in a community and in your neighbors. It is important that this opportunity stays accessible to native New Yorkers, BIPOC, low-income and intergenerational families.


Housing that is both inclusive and sustainable is how we fight gentrification and how our neighbors get to stay and raise their families. To make your voice heard on issues important to your neighborhood, call or even better join your local community boards or your own co-op or condo board, and make sure to communicate with your neighbors. District 18 has several strong housing boards that are very active in making their communities healthier and more comfortable for all residents. By joining a board or neighborhood association you are actively advocating for the changes you want to see. Staying involved in your community not only brings us closer together but can also help us push together for a better tomorrow.

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