Topic

Community Issues

191 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Melissa Mark-Viverito

Protect our HDFCs from destructive new regulations!

The HDFC Coalition says: “Save our HDFCs!” The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) wants to drastically increase regulation of Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperative housing in the Fall of 2016.  HPD wants the City Council to eliminate affordable real estate tax rates for any HDFC that does not sign HPD’s new Regulatory Agreement, one which would take away much of the autonomy of HDFC's. HPD wants to revoke the existing “DAMP” partial tax exemption, set sale price limits, lower the income cap of new buyers, require HDFCs to hire both a managing agent and a separate “monitor” to approve almost all transactions, and impose other constraints. Although HPD’s describes their proposal as an effort to preserve affordable housing and protect equity of shareholders, it would actually endanger existing HDFC cooperatives by putting them at risk of financial distress.  Further, changing the affordability rules and thereby diluting shareholder equity after thousands of New Yorkers have invested blood, sweat equity and tears would be unconscionable.  HPD’s proposal is not only misguided, it is in essence nothing short of an attack on the equity and property rights of HDFC shareholders, and an abandonment of invaluable principals of the home-ownership programs enacted by the City over the last four decades. The HDFC Coalition has obtained a legal opinion which states in part: "...the draft Regulatory Agreement, if implemented, would affect significant and severe changes in the ability of the Board of Directors to operate, manage and govern the building which the cooperative corporation owns. To accept the draft Regulatory Agreement would, in effect, be transferring the discretion to operate the building owned by the cooperative corporation to HPD and the Monitor. The Board of Directors would have no recourse if it disagreed with the decisions of HPD.” Also, the City is using two false arguments in attempt to justify this proposal: 1. “Sales prices are out of control.” (Actually, the City concedes that only a tiny percentage of sales are what it says are “high-priced,” and UHAB’s own research shows that most HDFCs are selling for substantially less than “allowable” prices.)   2. “HDFCs are failing and stricter regulation is needed.” (Actually, most HDFCs are financially healthy, and the minority of failing HDFCs should not be used as a justification to over-regulate healthy HDFCs.) Although HPD calls the program “voluntary,” their plan calls for HDFCs that refuse or fail to sign a new regulatory agreement to be hit with full real estate taxes as they lose their DAMP tax discount, despite the fact that HDFCs still house low- to moderate-income families that cannot pay the increase in maintenance that would result from being charged full real estate taxes. Let’s not forget: the City foreclosed on run-down buildings that had been abandoned by landlords, and sold many buildings in very poor condition to the residents through the creation of home-ownership programs. Particularly in the early days, these programs allowed the City to divest itself of buildings that were falling apart and shift the risk and the burden to the new shareholders who were finally given a chance at the American Dream. These new homeowners rebuilt not only their buildings, but their neighborhoods and communities, thereby increasing the overall tax base, and helped the City come back from the brink of bankruptcy. We can and must do better. We must respect and listen to HDFC shareholders, who know best what works for their buildings. I must ask that you not support HPD’s request to turn the beneficial DAMP tax rate into a tool to manipulate, control and destabilize healthy HDFCs. Help us stop this proposal which was created without HDFC shareholder input and is a "one size fits all" approach.  Here is what we CAN do to help preserve and keep affordable HDFC cooperatives: 1.  Simply extend and improve, without new restrictions, the DAMP discount tax rate for HDFCs, which is presently set to expire in 2029. This would be a win-win-win for HDFCs, HPD, and the City. 2.  Maintain the existing rules for HDFCs to help ensure stability and viability. 3.  Work with HDFC shareholders and HPD to create programs that help rather than punish HDFCs. HDFC's are buildings that were abandoned by landlords, sustained by tenants and converted into cooperatives that number more than 1,000 buildings and over 30,000 shareholders. The residents of these buildings have played a vital role in the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout NYC. We don't want to lose our autonomy, our equity or our affordability.   WE SUPPORT THIS PETITION AGAINST THE HPD PROPOSAL!  For more information visit www.hdfccoalition.org and email HDFCcoalition@gmail.com El Departamento de Housing Preservation & Development (HPD, o Preservación de la Vivienda y Desarrollo) de la Ciudad de Nueva York quiere aumentar drásticamente la regulación del Housing Develpment Fund Corporation / HDFC (Fondo Corporativo de Desarrollo de la Vivienda) en otoño de 2016. HPD quiere que la Ciudada de Nueva York suprima el impuesto asequible a la propiedad para todo aquél que no firme el Nuevo Acuerdo Regulatorio de la HPD. Dicho acuerdo eliminará gran parte de la autonomía del HDFC. HPD quiere eliminar la actual exención parcial de impuestos sobre el “DAMP”, fijar límites a los precios de compra-venta, rebajar el límite de ingresos obligatorios para nuevos compradores, exigir que el HDFC contrate por separado tanto a una agencia como a un monitor para aprobar la mayoría de transacciones, e imponer otras limitaciones.  Aunque HPD describe su propuesta como un esfuerzo por preservar viviendas asequibles y proteger el capital de los accionistas, en realidad pondría en peligro la estabilidad financiera de las cooperativas de HDFC existentes. Además, cambiar las reglas de acceso a la vivienda y por tanto diluir la participación de los accionistas después de que miles de neoyorquinos han invertido sangre, sudor y lágrimas sería intolerable. La propuesta del HPD no solo es errónea, sino que es esencialmente un ataque al capital y derechos de los accionistas propietarios de HDFC y un abandono de los principios de valor incalculable contenidos en los programas de propiedad de vivienda aplicados por la Ciudad de Nueva York durante las últimas cuatro décadas.  La coalición HDFC ha obtenido una opinión jurídica que declara, en parte que: "...el borrador de acuerdo regulatorio, de ser implementado, provocaría cambios significativos en la capacidad de la Junta Directiva para operar, administrar y gobernar el edificio propiedad de la corporación. De hecho, este acuerdo cedería poder de operar el edificio a HPD y el monitor. La Junta Directiva no tendría ningún recurso en caso de no estar de acuerdo con HPD”.  Adicionalmente, la Ciudad de Nueva York está utilizando dos argumentos falsos para tratar de justificar su propuesta:  1. “Precios de venta están fuera de control” (de hecho, la Ciudad de Nueva York admite que sólo un pequeño porcentaje de las compra-ventas tienen sobreprecio y las investigaciones de UHAB demuestran que la mayoría de HDFCs se están vendiendo por un precio inferior a los permisibles)   2. “Los HDFCs están fracasando y una regulación más estricta es necesaria” (de hecho, los HDFCs están saneados desde el punto de vista financiero y el hecho de que una minoría esté fracasando no debería usarse como excusa para sobreregular las HDFCs productivas)  Aunque HPD ha calificado al programa como “voluntario”, aquellas HDFC que o bien se nieguen o no puedan firmar el acuerdo regulatorio serán agravadas con la totalidad de los impuestos sobre la vivienda y perderán la rebaja tributaria DAMP, a pesar de que sigan alojando a familias con ingresos bajos o moderados que no podrán asumir el incremento en gastos que supone cargarles la totalidad de impuestos sobre la vivienda.   No lo olvidemos: la Ciudad de Nueva York inició ejecuciones hipotecarias sobre edificios en ruina que habían sido abandonados por sus dueños y muchos de ellos en pésimas condiciones y los vendió a los residentes a través de la creación de programas de propiedad de la vivienda. Especialmente en sus inicios, estos programas permitieron a la Ciudad de Nueva York deshacerse de edificios que estaban en estado de ruina y trasladar riesgos y cargas a los nuevos accionistas a quienes finalmente llegaba la oportunidad de cumplir el Sueño Americano. Los nuevos propietarios de viviendas reconstruyeron no solo sus edificios sino también sus vecindarios y comunidades incrementando así la base tributaria general, lo cual ayudó al Ayuntamiento a superar casi la bancarrota.  Podemos y debemos mejorar. Debemos respetar y escuchar a los accionistas de los HDFC, que saben lo que funciona en sus edificios. Debo pedirles que no apoyen la petición del HPD para convertir la beneficiosa tarifa DAMP en un instrumento para manipular, controlar y desestabilizar HDFCs que están saneados.  Ayúdenos a frenar esta propuesta que ha sido creada sin la opinión de los accionistas de HDFC y con una filosofía de solventar una situación con una “talla única”.  Esto es lo que PODEMOS hacer para ayudar preservar cooperativas HDFC como asequibles:  1.  Sencillamente ampliar y mejorar, sin nuevas restricciones, la tarifa DAMP rebajada para HDFCs, que en la actualidad debería caducar en 2029. Esta situación beneficiaría a HDFCs, HPD, y la Ciudad de Nueva York.  2.  Mantener las actuales normas para HDFCs que contribuyen a su estabilidad y viabilidad.  3.  Trabajar con los accionistas de HDFC y HPD para crear programas que ayuden en vez de castigar a los HDFCs.  Los HDFC's son edificios que fueron abandonados por sus dueños, sostenidos por sus inquilinos y convertidos en cooperativas: se cuenta más de 1,000 edificios con más de 30,000 accionistas. Los residentes de estos edificios han jugado un papel vital in la revitalización de los vecindarios de NYC. No queremos perder nuestra autonomía, nuestra inversión ni nuestro poder adquisitivo.  ¡APOYAMOS ESTA PETICIÓN EN CONTRA DE LA PROPUESTA DEL HPD!  Para más información visite www.hdfccoalition.org y envíe un correo a HDFCcoalition@gmail.com  

HDFC Coalition
417 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Polly Trottenberg

Demand safety for Pedestrians at Fort Independence Intersections!

Dear Neighbors, As you know, there are several dangerous intersections in our neighborhood that have been problematic for many years. Fort Independence Street intersects with Giles Place, Kingsbridge Terrace and Heath Avenue – creating a dizzying roadway with insufficient traffic and pedestrian regulation.ALL pedestrians – including children and the elderly — are at risk of being hit by relentless oncoming traffic from multiple directions. With limited to no visibility of what's coming around the corner, pedestrians are forced to take their chances and dart out with fingers crossed that no bus or car is going to mow them down out of nowhere. There are NO crosswalks at essentially 3 intersections of these very busy streets.Drivers are at risk as well. Two bus-lines, cabs and every-day commuters navigate this intersection blindly, constantly in danger of being involved in a traffic crash or hitting a pedestrian. After receiving several official complaints, The Department of Transportation (DOT) conducted a survey of the intersection in December 2014 and declared that a traffic signal was not necessary at this time. This is unacceptable!When will DOT install what's obviously necessary? AFTER someone has been injured or killed? As of this month - January 2017:NO traffic signal has been installed.NO crosswalk has been designated.NO crossing guard has been assigned.NO protections at all have been applied to these dangerous intersections.Let's not wait until a tragedy occurs to make noise about this issue.We are a strong community of parents, students, workers, community leaders and business owners.We CAN and WILL be heard.Something must be done NOW - before it's too late. Please sign below in support of this petition. We hope to gather 1000 signatures in the next 30 days. It will be presented to the following Public Officials: Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, NYC Department of TransportationBronx DOT Commissioner Constance MoranBronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.Congressman Adriano EspaillatState Senator Jeffrey KleinAssemblyman Jeffrey DinowitzCouncilman Andrew Cohen     Councilman Fernando Cabrera            Community Board 8 Chairman Daniel Padernacht

Nova Calise
105 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to April Sound Board of Trustees, Johnny Kopecky

April Sound Leaders Must Take Immediate Action #nevergiveup

Located in southeast Texas, April Sound is a beautiful waterfront community on Lake Conroe. Developed in the early 70s, April Sound is a gated community offering property owners many amenities and a comfortable, safe family environment. In the last decad, the demographics of the community have changed considerably, with more families moving in with small children, lessening the number of retiree owners.  In the past year, property owners have become more cognizant of the operations of the community through an in-depth analysis of April Sound Property Owner's Association, Inc. (ASPOA). During 2016, a number of owners began asking questions - upsetting the apple cart - followed by a community pitting the "old ways" against the "new ways." Specifically, owners began demanding to know how their dues were being spent. Property Code 209 clearly states it is a property owner's right to inquire - AND OBTAIN - financial data details, but ASPOA refused to open up its books to the level demanded.  As a result of the pressure, ASPOA's board of trustees chairman, along with the general manager, filed a defamation lawsuit against two property owners. The allegations relate to social media posts and comments.  Property owners began to see the seriousness of the situation, and the extent of retaliation ASPOA would go to in order to stifle inquiries for production of financial data.  On SEPTEMBER 2, 2016, ASPOA filed the defamation lawsuit against TWO property owners in the Montgomery County 284th District Court (Cause #16-09-10168). Http://odyssey.mctx.org/Unsecured/default.aspx On DECEMBER 21, 2016, the Honorable Judge Cara Wood dismissed the lawsuit against one of the two co-defendants. On JANUARY 11, 2017, ASPOA withdrew the defamation lawsuit against the second defendant.  Moving forward would have been extremely risky for a number of reasons, with the primary reason being the remarks alleged in the lawsuit not defamatory statements. Stating, "Wow, really," is certainly not defamatory.  If you agree ASPOA must offer a transparent, honest, and ethical board of trustees, please show your support by signing the petition.  ASPOA MONITORS THIS PAGE DAILY. MAKE YOUR OPINION HEARD. Ask to join April Sound Governance on Facebook, or April Sound POA - Discussion Group on NextDoor to learn more. A copy of the lawsuit is posted on the FB Page; or, you may request a copy emailed to you.  Your support publicly denounces these acts of retaliation against homeowners who demand to exercise their legal right to view the withheld financial documents.

Andrea Fahrenthold
175 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Strategic Acquistions Inc, Peter Baer, Tony Hershman

DO NOT ALLOW STRATEGIC ACQUISITIONS INC TO DESTROY THE RON FINLEY PROJECT’S GANGSTA GARDEN

Help #savethegangstagarden and The Ron Finley Project's HQ that ignited a worldwide food justice revolution by signing the petition and generously giving what you can.All Ron Finley wanted was healthy food for himself, his family and neighbors. After picking up a tomato that was labeled “coated with shellac” in his local South Central Los Angeles grocery store, it hit Finley: there was a complete lack of healthy food in his community. This is true for not only Finley’s community, but most underserved populations nationwide. More than 29 million Americans live in food deserts or what Finley has termed “food prisons”.“the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys”In 2010, Finley decided to take his health and the health of his community into his own hands and “Plant Some Shit”, turning a strip of city-owned land in front of his property into a food oasis. After a citation, fine and eventual warrant for Finley’s arrest over the grass that he transformed into an edible landscape for his community, word spread quickly about the “Gangsta Gardener”, sparking a global food justice movement. Luminaries such as René Redzepi, Russell Brand, Alice Waters, Rainn Wilson, Penny Marshall, Aloe Blacc, Carson Daley, Rachel Hunter and Robert Horry reached out to Finley in solidarity of his work, followed by statewide dignitaries, namely Mayors Aja Brown, Kevin Johnson and Councilman Herb Wesson. Soon after, the Gangsta Garden began to be visited and studied by local K-12 classrooms and universities all over the world including renown institutions such as Harvard, the University of Southern California and MIT.“Kids who grow kale, eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. But when none of this is presented to them, they blindly eat whatever you put in front of them.”Over the last few years, the owner of the RFP property has been battling with the bank and has made several attempts to receive a loan modification to no avail. The bank recently foreclosed on the property and sold it to Strategic Acquisitions Inc. RFP has requested that Strategic Acquisitions allow them to continue operating from the location as to sustain with the important work they are doing in the community. The only solution they have been offered is to purchase the property, otherwise, face eviction. HQ has grown into more than just a garden since 2010, including RFP offices, an educational center and a propagation station for more edible urban landscapes. The loss of this property is a continuation of the injustices perpetrated against the members of the South Central Los Angeles community and persons struggling with food insecurity around the world. Finley took on city lawmakers in 2010 sparking a worldwide food justice revolution. Now the world needs to rally behind him!RFP needs to raise $500,000 to #savethegangstagarden that has become a symbol of healthy change for Los Angeles and cities all over. If you have been touched by RFP or support access to healthy food for ALL communities, please sign the petition, donate on our crowdfunding site, share and comment on how the The Ron Finley Project has inspired you.

The Ron Finley Project
70,898 supporters