The nincompoops who run our city clearly mean to drive middle- and working-class homeowners owners out of town.
Just look at Glen Oaks Village or the Bay Terrace Cooperative, both in Queens, which epitomize the plight of residents faced with staggering future costs for “environmental” overhauls they’ll pay for out of their own pockets.
The board president of Glen Oaks, the city’s largest garden-apartment complex, calls Local Law 97 “insane” — and his counterparts around town agree.
The loony law, to take effect at the end of the year, spells financial ruin for many of the city’s 3,700 co-op and condo buildings, which are home to more than 800,000 apartments.
It requires buildings with more than 25,000 square feet to either switch to electric heat or seriously modify their current heating systems so as to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
The costs of this legislated folly will be borne by owners and shareholders either as assessments or whopping hikes in monthly maintenance costs.
Either do it, the city demands — or face gargantuan fines.
The act was passed by the socialist-leaning City Council and signed by former mayor Bill de Blasio with much hoopla on April 22, 2019 — Earth Day.
Happily for de Blasio, the two buildings he owns in Brooklyn are too small to require the changes.
The law is part of New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act of 2019.
It shares the “save the planet” hysteria of the city’s $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, which destroyed the beloved East River Park on the downtown waterfront so that it can be redesigned to withstand a sea surge that exists only in the imaginations of mad scientists.
The Real Estate Board of New York estimates that affected buildings would face more than $200 million in penalties if they can’t comply with the changes, a figure that will go as high as $900 million by 2030.
Building managements, including at my Upper East Side high-rise, have grappled with the law’s ramifications since the city finally spelled out its precise requirements and thresholds at the end of 2022 after leaving them in suspense for a year and a half.
But the most pain will be felt by residents of modestly-priced buildings and complexes that do not have large reserve funds or other resources to pay for the “woke” diktats.
At the Bay Terrace Co-op in Bayside, Queens, a 200-unit garden apartment complex, board president Warren Schreiber told The Post bluntly, “We don’t know how we’re going to pay for this.
“I’ve been the board president for 25 years and never had an issue that actually kept me awake at night.”
Schreiber said he can’t even figure out what steps would put the complex in compliance because the city’s new rules are too confusing and complicated to follow.
He said the city’s preferred choice is for everyone to go all-electric, which would cost Bay Terrace $3 million for heat pumps alone that might not even work.
Shareholders would foot the bill — if it’s enough to satisfy the city’s environmental overlords — in the form of huge assessments or a whopping 30% hike in monthly maintenance for every apartment, Schreiber said.
“Consider,” he said, “We don’t have million-dollar luxury units like in Manhattan. We are a middle-income and working-class co-op. We have lots of teachers, civil servants, single-parent households and senior citizens. The seniors are the ones I’m most concerned about. Many of them would have to downsize” to smaller units to afford to stay.
At the Glen Oaks Village complex in northeastern Queens, board president Robert Friedrich said, “I’ve lived here all my life. The city is out of control. This is the largest unfunded mandate ever imposed on constituents.”
Glen Oaks is home to over 10,000 residents in 2,900 units in 134 buildings. “Our buildings have 96 boilers” that would all have to be replaced, Friedrich said. “We’d have to spend $24.5 million for new boilers we don’t need.
“Even if we put in the most efficient boilers,” he said, the fines would be less but “would not go away” entirely due to impossible to meet emission-reduction thresholds.
“Switching to electric heat would cost $35 million and saddle our working-class homeowners with the highest electrical rates in the country.”
And if the complex made no changes at all? “We’re facing $1.1 million in fines every year,” Friedrich said.
“This is the most insane thing I’ve seen in all my years.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.