In a sign that the New York City’s co-op and condo community is finally beginning to win some long-sought political leverage, Queens Borough President-elect Donovan Richards on Monday named prominent co-op and condo advocate Warren Schreiber to his transition team.
Schreiber is president of the 200-unit Bay Terrace Cooperative Section 1 in Queens and also a founding member of the Presidents Co-op & Condo Council (PCCC), an advocacy and think tank organization that represents more than 100,000 shareholders and unit-owners in New York City. In addition to Schreiber, Richards’s transition team includes members of the General Assembly and City Council, union officials, nonprofit directors and other policy advocates.
“Donovan Richards has put together a really good team, and I’m honored to part of it,” Schreiber tells Habitat. “He feels it’s important for the co-op and condo community to have a voice. The Borough President has a bully pulpit, and if we have some elected officials, including Borough Presidents, on our side, that should help us.”
Schreiber says his top priority will be to educate Richards and other elected officials on the economic squeeze co-ops and condos are undergoing. “Right now we’re being hurt by unfunded mandates,” Schreiber says, “and they just keep piling them on.”
Chief among them, he says, is the looming Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), which will require most co-ops and condos to reduce their carbon emissions in coming years or face serious fines. Schreiber says he’ll push for some sort of tax credit, along the lines of the J-51 credit, to help boards finance the retrofits that will bring them in compliance with the CMA.
In a statement, the PCCC said: “Warren’s appointment to the Borough President-elect’s transition team will ensure that the voices of the co-op and condo community will be heard loud and clear in Queens Borough Hall.”
Though no firm date has been set, it’s expected Richards will be sworn in to office in early December.
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