Mismanaged Co-ops Uptown Owe the City More Than $21M, Records Show

HAMILTON HEIGHTS —Mismanaged co-ops in Hamilton Heights, Harlem, and East Harlem owe the city more than $21.2 million in unpaid taxes and water and sewage bills, according to data obtained by DNAinfo. The HDFC co-op at 501 West 143rd St. owes the city more than $3 million and is at risk of being foreclosed. Its shareholders are suing the board for mismanaging the building.

Most of the co-ops started as foreclosed properties owned by absentee landlords that the city sold to tenants to give low-income New Yorkers homeownership.

About 60 percent — 200 of 329 co-ops in Community Boards 9, 10 and 11— owe the city money, according to records from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Of those, 49 owe more than $100,000, according to data obtained by DNAinfo.

The worst offender — a co-op at 501 W. 143rd St. — is carrying a $3 million debt and is at risk of being foreclosed, according to HPD.

“We are aware of significant issues regarding how the board has been managing the operations of the cooperative at 501 West 143rd Street,” an HPD spokesman said in a statement. “This [co-op] has been identified by HPD and [Department of Finance] as a candidate Third Party Transfer program.”

If placed on the program, every member of the co-op would lose ownership of their apartment and be forced to become renters. For Ronaldo Kiel, who has spent more than $200,000 to buy and renovate his apartment, that would mean a complete loss on his investment.

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By:  Gustavo Solis | June 5, 2015

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