Memo re Community Room fee

Cooperators’ generosity on Tuesday evening meant the $325 fee for our use of the Community Room was shared and, hopefully, not a burden to any one of us. Nevertheless, one shareholder has pointed out to us that charging a fee for an open meeting like ours may be prohibited by New York statue. So this memo was delivered today to Mr. Leonard Greher, president of the board, and Mr. Harold Jacob, general manager:

November 15, 2012

Leonard Greher
President, East River Housing Corporation
530 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Dear Mr. Greher,

Cooperatively Yours is a group of East River cooperators working to initiate and maintain projects that enhance the quality of life for all residents. We’re just getting started, helping to organize the new community garden and making plans for a winter art show.

Recently we decided it would be a good idea to hold an open meeting to share stories of surviving the superstorm and discuss possible ways to update our community’s emergency preparedness. I reserved the community room for this purpose, and paid the rental fee for the room — $325 — when informed by Mr. Harold Jacob that there were no exceptions to paying that fee.

It has been brought to my attention, however, that an organization like ours is protected by law from being charged such a fee. I refer to section 230 of Article 7, New York Real Property Code:

“Tenants’ groups, committees or other tenants’ organizations shall have the right to meet without being required to pay a fee in any location on the premises including a community or social room where use is normally subject to a fee which is devoted to the common use of all tenants in a peaceful manner, at reasonable hours and without obstructing access to the premises or facilities. No landlord shall deny such right.”

In light of this, I hope that the Board of Directors will revisit their rules about the Community Room and allow Cooperatively Yours and organizations like it the free use of common areas in the future.

Thank you for your consideration,
Jeremy Sherber
577 Grand Street, #F1801