We urgently call for legislation to protect renters in HDFC cooperatives. In some HDFC cooperatives, there are more renter-residents than shareholder-residents, and while many of these tenants pay rents that fall well below the market and are consistent with affordable housing standards, some renters endure predatory practices that contradict the letter, if not the spirit, of the HDFC law.
The State legislature needs to provide a more concrete definition of low-income earners in Article XI of the Private Housing Finance Law (Housing Development Fund Company Law). Presently, Article XI tacitly defines low-income earners as persons whose housing needs cannot be met by private enterprise alone. That loose construction of low-income earners has allowed the City of New York to include persons earning as high as $99,825 for individuals or 165% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For 2015, the United States Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) calculated AMI as $60,500 for an individuals. Without a clear definition of low-income earners in the Housing Development Fund Law, the City of New York is able to define low-income as high 105% to 60% above the federal low-income maximum. By defining low-income as 120% to 130% of AMI, the City of New York has essentially violated the legislative mandate that HDFC corporations provide housing exclusively for low-income individuals and families by diverting these scare housing resources to moderate and middle income earners. For a more detailed discussion of income eligibility click on or go to the link: www.nychdfc.org/restrictions.