Joseph Runfo…, Real Estate Pro in Staten Island, NY

Will the Staten Island Board of Realtors ask their elected officials to adopt the same Fair Housing Law as LIBOR and Suffolk County did?

Asked by Joseph Runfola, Staten Island, NY Sun Nov 15, 2009

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, flanked by members of the Long Island Board of REALTORS, signed landmark legislation Monday which provides protection for prospective cooperative home buyers against discrimination. The new Suffolk County law, the first in New York State, requires cooperative boards to provide a written explanation for denial within 45 days, and provides enforcement powers to the Human Rights Commission.

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Joseph Runfola’s answer
A recent NYC Council bill would have required that co-op boards give applicants a list of reasons for denial within five days of rejection, identifying specifically how the applicant failed to meet standards. Failing to do so would result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 for a first offense.
About two-thirds of the City Council initially signed on to the bill, with proponents saying it would protect applicants from arbitrary rejection by co-op boards. Critics contended it would encourage litigation and scare off prospective board members. At about the same time, a state bill was introduced that would have gone even further than the city legislation. In addition to a list of reasons for rejection, this proposal would have required the co-op board to either reject or approve an applicant within 45 days. The penalty for noncompliance? The applicant would automatically be granted acceptance.
Neither bill became law, but what was defeated in New York City has come to pass with a new law in bellwether Suffolk County — the first in the area to ban smoking in restaurants and talking on cell phones while driving.
The Long Island country now requires cooperative apartment boards to reveal in writing their reasons for turning down potential residents. Board members could be brought to account more easily in discrimination lawsuits, and be held personally liable. Entitled "A Local Law Requiring Fairness in Cooperative Home Ownership" (Intro. Resolution Number 1763-2009, Local Law Number 36-2009), it also requires that co-op boards provide the same application to all applicants, along with information on the relevant Fair Housing and anti-discrimination laws. Once an applicant turns in an application, the board must acknowledge within 10 days that it has received it, and must inform the applicant whether the application is complete or not. The board must come to its decision to approve or deny the completed application within 45 day
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Last time I looked there were 667 Trulia members on Staten Island, but only 4 people comment on such an important issue? It causes me to pause and ponder what the other 663 people think is important, and why I would choose one of them to represent my interests!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
I think they should support this Fair Housing Law. People have a right to know why they have been denied a place to live.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
Hey Howard, the latest number is 674, and no new SIBOR member comments! Seems to be a dead issue here.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 18, 2009
I agree with the answers that coop boards should explain their reasons for rejecting a home buyer; however coop boards should be treated the same as any other home owner. They both can reject a buyer without divulging their reason. The preponderance of Coops in NYC is believed to be one of the major reasons that the housing market is more stable here than in many other parts of country.
As for why the other 663 folks haven't commented! That's a good question that should stand by itself.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
Will they ask? I don't know if they will but I think they should. Co-op boards need not to provide explanation when they deniy an applicant. How does one know the real reason they have been denied. I say lets do it.

On Your Team.
Irena Popilevsky
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
Only if it makes it easier to buy or sell a coop.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
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