shareholders kit_prepared by bruce jana laura



Welcome to your HDFC Letter-Writing Campaign Kit

I’ve numbered items here in a way that will get you up to speed on the issues and then prioritize your letter writing.



Go to the website and read up on the issues. Click on all the read mores, as these have updated info.   Also join the coalition by filling out its form.



Here is the petition you should sign online. And send it to all friends and family and have them sign it:



Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, NYC Council: 212-788-7210

Jumaane Williams, Housing Chair, NYC Council: 212-788-6859
Richie Torres, Council Member 212-788-6966



Mayor Bill de Blasio

City Hall

New York, NY 10007


Strongly state that this proposal is unacceptable. It’s based on HPD’s willful misunderstanding of how HDFCs work. We are not“low-income” or “public housing,” and we will not let the Mayor and HPD rob the equity from HDFC shareholders who rescued and repaired their buildings while keeping them affordable for everyone in the building.



Melissa Mark-Viverito                               

Speaker, The New York City Council

105 East 116th Street

New York, NY 10029


Melissa can take this proposal off the table if she wants, but she is leaving her position as Speaker and may prefer to curry favor with de Blasio. So write a strong letter asking her to take it off the table and telling her why she should. Her email is here, so you can follow up your letter with an email.



Mark Levine

The New York City Council, District 7

500 West 141st Street

New York, NY 10031


Levine support us. He’s against the proposal. Write him a letter of praise and solidarity. If you can send him a $100 donation: ———————————————————————


Ms. Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President

1 Centre Street, 19th Floor                            or                     431 West 125th St.

New York, NY 10007                                                             NY, NY 10027


She has been openly hostile to the HDFC Coalition and has thus far sided blindly with HPD. She is said to be a careerist and cares only about moving herself forward. Nevertheless, writer her and make sure she understands we are motivated voters, 100,000 of us. She squeaked by in the last election by 11,000 votes, so our votes make a difference.


Talking points and sample text

Following are various talking points or ways to frame an argument in your letter(s). It is sometimes repetitive, but shows different ways to word things.


Here are three fallacies — in red — that have turned up in the language of HPD and Gale Brewer:

  1. HDFCs are Public Housing. Not true. HDFCs are NOT public housing. HDFCs are coops formed under Article XI of the New York Private Housing Finance Law (PHFL). We own our buildings and the land under them. Our by-laws state that our boards must make all governing decisions.
  2. HDFCs were built to provide affordable housing for persons of low income. Not true. These buildings already existed. They were abandoned by landlords, banks, and the City, which sold them cheap to tenants and then turned their backs. These tenants represented a range of incomes and classes.
  3. HDFCs were meant to be low-income housing. Not true. The economic model of the HDFC provides that as the building returns to viability, rising sales prices will bring high flip-tax income into the building’s coffers, thus paying for capital improvements and upkeep, and keeping maintenance low for everyone. Affordability for life is the HDFC goal, NOT low sales prices. If an apartment sells at a loss (which is what HPD will force), no flip tax accrues to the building and maintenance goes up. This drives out the lowest-income sector. It is the opposite of affordability, but HPD refuses to understand this. Many of us feel that HPD is purposely trying to empty HDFCs by forcing them to fail so that the City can get control of — in their words — “this valuable housing.”

—Here is what HPD and the Mayor are trying to do. They want to break a contract we have with the city that runs until 2029 — the DAMP tax exemption — and then offer it back to us for a longer period of time but with a slew of punitive regulations attached to it, new rules like: we have to hire city monitors to vet the decisions our boards make, we have to put caps on our sales and sell at big losses, we have to have a flat flip tax of 30%, we can’t sublease for more than one year in 5 (or something like that), we can’t own a second home within a 100 mile radius, we HAVE TO SLEEP IN OUR APTS FOR 275 NIGHTS A YEAR!!!! Our homes become jails. On what planet is this a good deal for HDFCs???

Meanwhile, the City gives a tax abatement to regular coops that HDFCs don’t get and the City is not trying to control them! The Mayor and HPD are focusing on us because we are fewer.

—Thousands of HDFC homeowners based their financial futures on the rules that were in place when they bought their HDFC homes. If this proposal passes it will constitute a Madoff-like robbery of equity in 30,000 NYC apartments.

Each HDFC is its own economic ecosystem, and the 75% that are successful are each a unique model of financial foresight and frugality buttressed by high flip taxes. There is no fair way to bind all HDFCs into one set of regulations without devastating financial consequences for the majority. And yet this is exactly what the Mayor & HPD are trying to do. Their one-size-fits-all approach is a ruinous fit for most HDFCs.

—HDFCs never had sales caps (because sales caps would have doomed HDFCs from the start). At least 75% of HDFCs have followed their regulatory agreements scrupulously and kept maintenance low so that ALL shareholders can afford to live in NYC for life.  HPD should focus on HDFCs that are distressed and help them.

—The new proposals are capricious. HPD wants to fit all HDFCs with a flat flip tax of 30%, imposed at the same time as new sales caps. This is unconscionable. It doubly punishes profits to shareholders who have to sell. It is not constitutional.

— With this new set of regulations, HPD and the Mayor take away our civil rights. This includes the right to private property and the right to mobility. Now that our properties are desirable, the City wants to take them back by controlling who and how residents live in them. What the Mayor and HPD are trying to do is THEFT PURE AND SIMPLE.

— These misguided, one-size-fits-all regulations will have unforeseen consequences. No one in their right mind will buy into an HDFC under this new plan. No sales means no flip taxes, which means no necessary income for building upkeep, which means rising maintenance and assessments, which means stressed shareholders who can no longer afford their HDFC apartments, but hey, can’t sell them either because they’re underwater and anyway NO ONE WILL BUY THEM.  Hence the vicious cycle this proposal sets in motion!

— This proposal has already hurt HDFCs. Real estate brokers are warning prospective buyers away from our buildings, because they can’t in good conscience urge someone to invest in a home that will not appreciate. If apartments don’t sell, the building doesn’t get the flip-taxes it needs for repair and upkeep. That was the model of “homesteading.” We repair and restore our buildings — structures the city gave up on — with the flip-taxes we receive when restored apartments sell for what they are worth. It’s a winning model that keeps maintenance low for mid- and low-income shareholders who would otherwise be forced out of NYC.

See this for what it is: the Mayor’s political gain paid for with our financial futures!


SECOND LETTERS TO WRITE — New York City Council Members

The reason to write ALL council members is because many do not have HDFCs in their districts and so they don’t understand the issue. If they don’t understand the issue they will vote with the Mayor. We have to make them understand how this proposal will undermine the health of buildings and the financial futures of middle and lower class citizens in NYC.   Talking points /sample language at end of this file.


Inez Barron

718 Pennsylvania Ave. Brooklyn,

New York 11207


Joseph C. Borelli

2955 Veterans Road West, Suite 2E

Staten Island, NY 10309


Fernando Cabrera

107 East Burnside Ave

Bronx, NY 10453


Margaret Chin

Chatham Green 165 Park Row, suite #11

New York, NY 10038                                                    


Andrew Cohen

277 West 231st Street

Bronx, NY 10463                                                          


Robert Cornegy

1360 Fulton Street, Suite 500

Brooklyn, NY 11216                                                     

Costa Constantinides

31-09 Newtown Avenue

Suite 209, Astoria NY 11102                                                   Costa Constantinides


Elizabeth Crowley

Atlas Park Mall – 71-19 80th Street, Suite 8-303

Glendale, NY 11385                                                      


Laurie Cumbo

55 Hanson Place, Suite 778

Brooklyn, NY 11217                                                     


Chaim M. Deutsch

2401 Avenue U

Brooklyn, NY 11229                                                    


Inez E. Dickens

163 W. 125 Street

New York, NY 10027


Daniel Dromm

37-32 75th St.

Jackson Heights, New York 11372


Rafael Espinal

786 Knickerbocker Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11207                                                     


Mathieu Eugene

123 Linden Boulevard

Brooklyn, New York 11226                              


Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

32-33A Junction Blvd

East Elmhurst, NY 11369                                              


Daniel R. Garodnick

211 East 43rd Street Suite 1205

New York, NY 10017


Vincent J. Gentile

8018 5th Avenue

Brooklyn, NJ 11209


Vanessa L. Gibson

1377 Jerome Avenue

Bronx, NY 10452                                             


David G. Greenfield

4424 16th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11204


Barry Grodenchik

73-03 Bell Boulevard

Oakland Gardens, NY 11364


Corey Johnson

224 West 30th, Suite 1206

NY NY 10001


Andy King

940 East Gun Hill Road

Bronx, NY 10467


Ben Kallos

244 East 93rd Street

NY NY 10128


Peter Koo

135-27 38 Avenue, Suite 388

Flushing, NY 11354


Karen Koslowitz

118-35 Queens Blvd, 17th Floor

Forest Hills, NY 11375


Rory I. Lancman

78-40 164th Street

Hillcrest, NY 11366


Mark Levine

The New York City Council, District 7

500 West 141st Street

New York, NY 10031


Brad Lander

456 5th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11215


Stephen Levin

410 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11217


Alan Maisel

2424 Ralph Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11234                                                    


Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker

The New York City Council

105 East 116th Street

New York, NY 10029                                                   


Steven Matteo

900 South Avenue, Suite 403

Staten Island, NY 10314                                               


Darlene Mealy

1757 Union Street, 2nd Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11213


Carlos Menchaca

4417 4th Avenue, Ground Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220                                                    


Rosie Mendez

209 East 3rd St.

NY NY 10009                                                              


I Daneek Miller

172-12 Linden Blvd.

St. Albans, NY 11434


Annabel Palma

1041 Castle Hill Avenue

Bronx, NY 10472


Antonio Reynoso

244 Union Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11211                                                    


Ydanis Rodriguez

618 W. 177th Street, Ground Floor

NY NY 10033


Donovan Richards

1931 Mott Avenue, Suite 410

Far Rockaway, NY 11691                                 


Deborah Rose

130 Stuyvesant Place, Room 602

Staten Island, NY 10301


Helen Rosenthal

563 Columbus Avenue

NY NY 10024                                                              


Rafael Salamanca Jr.

1070 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, NY 10459                                                         


Ritchie Torres

573 East Fordham Road

Bronx, NY 10458


Mark Treyger

445 Neptune Avenue

Community Room 2C

Brooklyn, NY 11224


Eric Ulrich

Ozone Park District Office

93-06 101st Avenue

Ozone Park, NY 11416


James Vacca

3040 East Tremont Ave. Room 104

Bronx, NY 10461


Paul Vallone

42-40 Bell Blvd., Suite 507

Bayside, NY 11361                                                      


Jimmy Van Bramer

47-01 Queens Blvd., Suite 205

Sunnyside, NY 11104                                                   


Jumaane D. Williams

4517 Avenue D

Brooklyn, NY 11203                                                    


Ruben Wills

95-26 Sutphin Blvd.

Jamaica, NY 11435





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