New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021



Residents of San Francisco, Austin and Elizabeth, N.J., pay more.

City services could be squeezed by pandemic-induced revenue loss.


Earth Day is just a few weeks away. In fact, it's exactly one week after tax day, April 15. And that's a great opportunity for co-op and condo boards to do bit of good for the planet while earning some tax deductions by giving to charity. How?

One way is for co-op and condo boards to coordinate with The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) Recycling Program, the largest recycling program of its kind in New York City. In 2014 alone, program organizers collected a scale-tipping 1,488 tons — that's more than 2.9 million pounds — of clothing and household goods. And they are still hard at work collecting. 

The new water rates are kicking in this year, and much like rents in the city that never sleeps, they are skyrocketing. We've already told you how boards can save money by taking a cold, hard look at the, erm, toilet. Another obvious place where boards might translate water savings into dollar savings, however, is in the shower. Right now, a 20-minute shower costs $95 per year in water alone, not including the cost of heating it. And if you're thinking low-flow means low pressure, we have some good news for you.

Ask the Attorney: Has Local Law 87 Gone Loco?

Written by Geoffrey R. Mazel on April 07, 2015

New York City

I am a board member of a co-op in the city of New York that contains multiple blocks and lots. We just submitted our first energy audit under Local Law 87 and the professional fees have become extremely expensive, since the city's Department of Buildings (DOB) keeps sending us more and more objections. If we have to go through this for numerous years we will be spending tens of thousands of dollars. Is there anything that can be done?

For nearly a decade, NYSERDA has led the charge in the green energy business for multifamily buildings, offering buildings hefty incentives for making improvements that reduce a building's energy usage. To participate in the programs, buildings must first select a partner that has been approved by NYSERDA. The partner, frequently an engineering firm, conducts an initial energy audit of the building's systems; helps the building decide which projects to tackle and in what order; vets the work done by various vendors to make sure they meet NYSERDA's standards; and files necessary paperwork so a building can get the coveted rebates.

Besides dwindling rebates, there are other changes on the horizon. The application process, for example, could change or be phased out. And local utilities will probably fill the incentive void. The state's Public Service Commission clean energy fund is currently reviewing NYSERDA's proposal, which includes changes to how the agency operates.

On April 22, Earth Day marks its 45th anniversary. This year, Earth Day Network, the folks behind the green initiative, are encouraging everyone to be more environmentally friendly. So, what can your co-op or condo board do to make a difference? 

Every time Earth Day draws near, terms such as "sustainability" get bandied about on green-friendly sites and across social media platforms. Perhaps it's thanks to the likes of celebrity homeowners like Leonardo DiCaprio who have been so gung-ho about green condo living in the city, but it looks as if sustainability might be gaining momentum in the high-end residential market. CORE, a real estate brokerage firm in Manhattan, hosted a broker roundtable during which nine real estate experts discussed sustainable design and its impact on the luxury market.

For co-ops and condos eager to switch from oil to gas but stymied by the cost, Con Edison has just announced 16 new Area Growth Zones for 2016 with a sweet incentive — a no-cost connection opportunity from the street to your building. It's a continuation of the company's present program, and the time to sign up is now. In case you don't know, there are two main costs in a conversion project. One is the price of all work within your property line, such as gas piping, equipment, and chimney-liners, which are the building's responsibility. The cost for this work is typically referred to as the "internal conversion costs." 

“Inane” policy ignores science of disease transmission – and the law.

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