FNYHC holds first ‘Professionals Dinner’

As the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums (FNYHC) held its First Annual Professionals Dinner on March 17, a diverse group of speakers spoke about issues of importance to the organization’s professional members.

Founded in 1953, the federation “is devoted to the interest of all cooperatives and condominiums. The primary purpose of the organization is the education of board members of cooperatives and condominiums so they can effectively manage the affairs of their buildings,” according to its web site.

The recent dinner was held in Towers on the Green at North Shore Towers. The event, chaired by Mona Shyman, Executive Vice President, who was assisted by Geoffrey Mazel, Bridgett Edwards, Carl Cesarano and Saul Belsky, was attended by more than 120 professionals from the world of co-ops and condos.

The first featured speaker of the evening was 26th District Assemblymember Ann Margaret Carrozza, who is also an elder law attorney. She began by discussing long-term care insurance, saying that in her office she spoke with many individuals who found out, after the fact, that their daily benefit from the policy did not cover the actual costs of long-term care facilities in their area.

A piece of legislation Carrozza introduced has now been passed that requires companies to give potential policy holders the cost of the five closest rehab facilities in the person’s geographic location, along with the policy’s daily benefit.

Carrozza also spoke about the need for some sort of refund for long-term care premium dollars and alternatives to putting a cooperative into a trust.

Al Pennisi, an attorney and the President of FNYHC, spoke about legal issues. He said that co-ops and condos incur legal fees on a regular basis and addressed some of the issues related to getting such fees back.

Pennisi said that generally co-ops and condos can not recover legal fees unless there is a statute or contract that allows them to. Among other specifics, Pennisi explained that the cooperative or condo must win the case in order to recover legal fees.

FNYHC Executive Director Gregory Carlson also spoke. He said that, although there has been much bad news in regards to the economy, there is some good news. Namely, part of the stimulus package is an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, including the purchase of co-ops and condos, which does not have to be paid back.

Carlson also spoke about other pending pieces of legislation that he said, when added together, could be costly for cooperatives and condominiums.

The final speaker of the event was Paul Wickel of the Bank of Smithtown, who addressed insurance-related issues. He said that the bank is a resource for Boards of Directors and that it writes many co-op and condo programs, also noting that often they don’t think about risk management.

Some of the forms of insurance that Wickel discussed were pollution liability, flood insurance and building and loan ordinance coverage. He also stressed the importance of residents (shareholders) carrying personal insurance on their apartments

The event was sponsored by Bargold Systems; Hankin & Mazel, PLLC; Cesarano & Khan, PC., Island Abstract, Inc.; A .Michael Tyler Management Co. and

MHS Consultants.

For more information on the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums, call 718-760-7540 or the hotline at 718-423-4438. Visit the web site for current and future events at www.fnyhc.coop. The organization’s e-mail address is [email protected].

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