Assemblymember Braunstein, Co-op Homeowners, State and City Elected Officials Rally for Local Law 97 Relief

Douglaston, New York On Monday morning, Assemblymember Edward Braunstein gathered with co-op homeowners and elected officials to push for the passage of bill A.5050, which would provide co-ops impacted by NYC’s Local Law 97 with financial relief. Braunstein’s press conference at the Beech Hills Co-op was attended by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblymembers David Weprin, Nily Rozic, Sam Berger and Ron Kim, Councilmembers Vickie Paladino, Sandra Ung and Linda Lee, Warren Schreiber, Co-President of Presidents Co-op & Condo Council, Janice Schreibersdorf, Beech Hills Co-op Board President, Bob Friedrich, President of Glen Oaks Village, and local co-op shareholders.

Passed by the City Council in 2019, Local Law 97 establishes carbon emission limits for certain large buildings in NYC. While it's important that NYC reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, LL97 fails to provide homeowners and other building owners with the appropriate resources to decarbonize, instead relying on the threat of penalties alone to encourage compliance. In many cases, co-ops have reported that it would be more financially sound to pay the penalties associated with being out of compliance, rather than foot the cost for the necessary upgrades, negating the environmental intent of the bill. 

Assemblymember Braunstein’s bill (S943-A/A5050), the Growing Resilient & Energy Efficient NY (“GREEN”) Buildings Act, would provide necessary financial relief by creating a property tax abatement to support capital improvements to buildings, including middle class co-op buildings, that reduce carbon emissions. Bill A.5050 currently has 27 Assembly sponsors, and, as reported by the Bronx Times last month, is supported by a majority of NYC Council Members. 

“Middle-class co-op homeowners are currently facing insurmountable financial burdens to meet the requirements of New York City’s Local Law 97 of 2019, which took effect earlier this year,” said Assemblymember Edward Braunstein. “That is why I’ve introduced bill A.5050, which seeks to offer relief to co-op and condo owners in the form of a tax abatement for eligible buildings. The Mayor’s Office has indicated that they’re willing to work with us on a tax abatement for middle-class co-op shareholders. It is high time for the Administration to come to the table and work with us to get this done.”

“Bill A.5050 is opening the door for co-ops to go green, save money, and support New York’s climate goals,” said Warren Schreiber, Co-President of the Presidents Co-op & Condo Council. “It’s all about encouraging them to make smart, energy-efficient changes that lead to big savings, higher property values, and a stronger commitment to helping the environment. We thank Assemblymember Braunstein for his unwavering support of the co-op community.”

“Taking out loans to finance LL97 requirements overburdens co-ops with unsustainable debt, pushing them closer to insolvency and bankruptcy, without any consideration or thought to the consequences of families living there,” said Bob Friedrich, President of Glen Oaks Village. “Our co-ops are a vital part of the affordable housing solution in NYC and I am glad to see that Assemblymember Ed Braunstein’s bill clearly recognizes that by providing grants and subsidies to help with the crushing costs of LL97 compliance.”

“Co-ops today are facing major unanticipated expenses,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “In addition to increasing real property taxes and insurance, complying with Local Law 97 is an additional burden. This legislation, which I am co-sponsoring, would provide tax abatements to offset some of the expenses incurred by co-ops and condos. We must keep our housing affordable.”

“We are taking strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also need to be mindful of undue burdens on homeowners, which is why we appreciate this effort to balance affordability and sustainability,” said State Senator John Liu. “Thanks to Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Senator Kevin Parker for championing this effort.”

"I am proud to stand with Assemblymember Braunstein and co-op homeowners in their fight for relief from the burdens of Local Law 97,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic. “We must address the financial challenges facing middle-class co-op shareholders while also prioritizing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The Growing Resilient & Energy Efficient NY (GREEN) Buildings Act will empower our communities to embrace sustainability without sacrificing their financial stability." 

“This is a common-sense proposal to help co-op residents meet the burdens imposed by Local Law 97, and I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the bill,” said Assemblymember Ron Kim. “I look forward to working with Assemblymember Braunstein and our colleagues in the city and state government to continue fighting for middle class New Yorkers.”

“Co-ops and condos are home to approximately 800,000 housing units, and their residents are facing an affordability crisis due to the financial burdens of Local Law 97,” said Council Member Linda Lee. “I have heard from Co-op Board Presidents across my district about how LL97’s implementation will lead to drastic increases in maintenance fees which will price New Yorkers out of their homes - which is why I have been fighting for exceptions for these residents on the City level. While LL97’s goal of providing climate sustainability is necessary, the law brings severe consequences for so many middle-income families who will bear the financial burden. I am proud to join Assembly Member Braunstein in supporting the State’s effort to offer much-needed tax abatements to provide relief for buildings making good-faith efforts to comply with the law, as we continue the work to ensure the protection of housing affordability across the city.”

“We all recognize the need to create a more sustainable city that addresses the very real threat of climate change, however, we must acknowledge the very real challenges that Local Law 97 presents, especially to owners of co-ops and condominiums in northeast Queens,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “I fully support Assemblyman Ed Braunstein’s legislation to create a tax abatement to offset the cost of building improvements required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Providing financial incentives to support the upgrades required under Local Law 97 will ensure that our buildings become more environmentally friendly, while also preserving homes for the middle-class.”

"I’m happy to see members of the state legislature recognizing the dire impacts of Local Law 97,” said Council Member Vickie Paladino. “Establishing an abatement and exemption from property taxes for capital improvements to reduce carbon emissions would provide much needed relief to the middle class who will be most impacted by Local Law 97. This is a great step towards protecting those in co-ops and condos from the costly upgrades Local Law 97 imposes and I thank the state legislature for the support. In the Council, I will continue to push for a repeal of the law entirely or delaying it to avoid the burden of fines on the middle class at all."