Co-op City, the nation’s largest cooperative housing development, has a rare chance via historically low interest rates to secure tens-of-millions in savings to make immediate repairs and upgrades via a refinancing option.
On April 8, Congressman Jamaal Bowman and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer reveled that this money will only come if the federal government, specifically Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acts now. If approved by HUD, Co-op City would get $100 million immediately and $800,000 a year in mortgage savings.
Ultimately, this would keep the community affordable for its 45,000 residents and its next generation in an increasingly expensive housing market.
Schumer and Bowman also recently sent a letter to HUD Secretary Fudge, urging her to clear a path for a streamlined refinance for Co-op City.
“Jamaal and I are not going to tell them what to do with the money,” Schumer said at the press conference. “It’s up to the Co-op board and cooperators to decide. What we do know is that it could save a lot of people in the Bronx some tax dollars.”
The Senate Majority Leader stressed that the hurdle is HUD releasing the funds. He, along with Bowman, Senator Jamaal Bailey and Councilman Kevin Riley, urged Fudge to take action.
“This is about bringing resources to communities that have historically been ignored,” Bowman exclaimed. “In doing it all, we keep Co-op City affordable, safe and green.”
Linda Berk, president of Riverbay Board of Directors, which oversees Co-op City, praised the lawmakers for standing up for the residents and trying to improve the neighborhood.
“We represent the possibility to have affordable housing, a quality of life and nice things to come home to,” she stated. “We implore Director Fudge to continue to close the loop, connect the dots and do the right thing we need so we can continue to take care of ourselves with the support other communities get. Director Fudge please help us.”