On June 28, 2021, the Westchester County Board of Legislators, by a vote of 15-2, passed an amendment to the existing County Co-op disclosure law that requires Co-op boards to give written notice of a reason for rejection of an application. That written notice now must be included when the Co-op files notice of a rejection with the County’s Human Rights Commission. The amendment also requires the Co-op board to disclose the minimum financial requirements to applicants before they apply.
The legislation caps more than 30 years of advocacy by, WRO, the real estate agency industry and other local housing groups to advance full transparency in cooperative sales in Westchester County in order to prevent discrimination against prospective buyers.
In 2018, the Westchester County Board of Legislators approved a bill (Local Law 2018-11) that provides for a specific time frame for a Co-op board to acknowledge receipt of an application (15 days) and inform the applicant of its decision to accept or reject the application (60 days). That legislation did not require the Co-op board to provide the applicant with a reason for denial. Under the terms of the new amendment, the Co-op board now must disclose the reason(s) for a denial, and the notice of rejection must be submitted to the Human Rights Commission within 15 days of the notice being provided to the applicant.
The final key change to the existing Co-op legislation requires all members of a Co-op board to have a minimum of two hours of fair housing training every two years.
To read the final version of the amended bill, click this link: