District 19, Queens
Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba and Whitestone
Council District 19 has a sizable number of co-op and condo units, and I have always been extremely sensitive to the needs of shareholders and unit-owners. During my campaign and my time in office thus far, I have heard from a diverse spectrum of residents who are deeply concerned about the future prospects of the co-op and condominium community in New York City and our district in particular. They see rising expenses, an insensitive and often punitive tax regime and a political atmosphere that at times can only be described as openly hostile to their interests.
Little differentiation is made between the multimillion-dollar luxury penthouses lining Park Avenue and the middle-class and fixed-income owners who make up the overwhelming majority of developments, especially here in my district, particularly when it comes to tax policy. In the same vein, the city has enacted extremely ambitious (and costly) carbon-reduction regulations, which will require major investment by co-op and condos. We have already heard from boards facing multimillion-dollar projects to comply with new regulations — and which are at a loss as to how to do this without significant increases to monthly maintenance. I plan to work closely with our co-op and condo community to help them navigate the regulatory environment and introduce new legislation to help protect their interests.
District 23, Queens
Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village
New York City Council District 23 is home to many condo and co-op communities, which represent the essence of affordable homeownership and are one of the few remaining places in New York where teachers, small-business owners and municipal workers can own their home instead of paying rent. But between rising property taxes, utility bills and the general cost of living, our co-op and condo residents are understandably worried about being priced out of their homes. Co-ops and condos shouldn’t be singled out as the only residential class of property owners forced to bear the burden of Local Law 97, part of the Climate Mobilization Act. Reducing carbon emissions is an important goal, but why should retirees be forced to take out equity on their homes to help pay for upgrades when other property classes are exempted wholesale?
We must also strive for equity in how our tax code affects our communities by addressing New York City’s broken property tax system while also reforming the tax code in Albany. More immediately, my office is continuously working to help our constituents receive the tax breaks and abatements due to them. We recently organized a workshop to help seniors and homeowners apply for these abatements and were able to help dozens of neighbors. For far too long, the financial demands of the city have been carried disproportionately by the condo and co-op community, and as New York gets back on its feet following the pandemic, we must make sure that co-ops and condos share in this recovery.
District 24, Queens
Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica
It is an honor and a privilege to be back at City Hall, representing the beautiful and vibrant neighborhoods in District 24. A lot has changed since my first tenure as a council member, but my mission remains the same — to ensure that our communities have access to the best possible resources. As your council member, I vow to continue fighting for my constituents and see to it that their voices are heard.
There are a number of exciting initiatives that our office has been working on, from working to pass historic legislation that will ban the use of natural gas in new buildings to funding a series of cleanups across the district. I would like to thank the many volunteers who make up our community’s co-op and condo boards. Your hard work does not go unnoticed, and we appreciate your dedication to improving our residential neighborhoods. Co-ops and condos play a crucial role in our communities and in our housing market.
District 25, Queens
Elmhurst, Jackson Heights
The New York City neighborhoods I represent are famously diverse. There are more languages overheard on a five-minute walk along Broadway or Roosevelt Avenue than there are states in the nation. The housing here, including the historic co-ops in the heart of Jackson Heights, have played a large role in creating the community we have today. In fact, Jackson Heights might not exist at all but for the construction of co-ops; in the early 20th century, the Queensboro Corporation purchased acres of farmland in what today is my district. The Queensboro co-ops were also the nation’s first garden apartments, with brick buildings ringing the perimeters of entire city blocks protecting private interior green spaces. By 1930, less than a decade later, there were more than 44,000 people residing in the spacious garden apartments of Jackson Heights.
But at the same time many New York City families were finding affordable respite here, many others were left out. Restrictive covenants kept Jewish and Black families out of Jackson Heights apartments for decades after they were built. To this day, the neighborhood is less than 5% Black, despite its proximity to East Elmhurst-North Corona, which was dubbed the Black Beverly Hills and was home to Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Malcolm X. In more recent decades, as the city’s fortunes have ebbed and flowed, our co-ops have continued to provide affordable, high-quality housing for generations of new residents, from Ecuadorians and Colombians in the 1980s, to South Asian families in the 1990s, to Nepalese and Tibetan families today. Built a century ago, the co-ops of Jackson Heights stand today as testaments to New York City’s past and as incubators of its future. Given this legacy, I am committed to supporting our historic co-ops and ensuring that they remain affordable and accessible.
District 29, Queens
Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill
Being a lifelong resident of District 29 means being a firsthand witness to the flourishing growth of the residents who breathe life into our communities. Every day our neighborhoods give birth to new families who will see their youth grow up in many of the co-ops and condos here. These individuals plant seeds in the district. Our seniors are the anchor to our neighborhoods and have kept the district grounded, stabilized and thriving. It is my responsibility to ensure that they are not priced out of their homes and that any condo or co-op they are living in remains economically feasible. As their elected representative, I will always consider their needs and continue to address the tax inequities they face. As I sit alongside my colleagues on the City Council, the co-op and condo residents of District 29 should know they sit alongside me and will have a voice in government during my tenure.
District 32, Queens
Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach and Woodhaven
Queens is the most diverse county in New York City, and District 32 is one of the most diverse districts in Queens. It is also the home of thousands of co-op and condo units. These types of residences are, in fact, some of the most affordable housing we have in the district. Historically, they are occupied by seniors, veterans and young, growing families. I am a staunch advocate for co-ops and condos and have partnered with the Presidents Co-Op and Condo Council (PCCC) to support the exemption of co-ops and condos from the Good Cause Eviction Bill and to speak out against ending the J-51 tax abatements. Additionally, I oppose the bill that would ban co-ops from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants and shareholders. I have worked for years with concerned citizens, tenants and co-op and condo boards to make sure they are getting the resources they need to continue to provide high-quality, low-cost housing to the residents of District 32. I applaud the PCCC for its tireless advocacy, and I look forward to working with it in the years ahead to be the voice in government for affordable home ownership.