Thank you for your interest in joining one of the limited-equity housing cooperatives which UHAB supports. This FAQ will help you in your research about our process. We look forward to seeing you at our Homeownership Workshop!
Click on any link below to be directed to the answer to your question:
- I like what I see on the UHAB website. How do I apply for a co-op?
- How can I figure out if I'm even eligible for any UHAB vacancy?
- What is the difference between a “UHAB-sponsored” co-op and the other listings on your website?
- I see different sales prices and different incomes listed on your materials. Why?
- When can I see an apartment?
- What if an application requirement does not apply to me?
- I am interested, but my credit score is lousy. What are my options?
- My lease is expiring. How can I get into a co-op before that happens?
- Are these all the buildings you have? When will you get more?
- Does UHAB have anything for rent?
- I've already taken a Homeownership Class; Why do I have to take UHAB's?
- How soon will you get back to me once I’ve taken the class and completed my application?
- How do you decide which applicant gets which apartment?
- Does UHAB recommend lenders?
- How can I get an update on my application status?
UHAB does not have a waiting list. To join our Interest Pool, you must do two simple things in either order. We require you to take an introductory Homeownership Workshop (note: Latecomers will not be given credit for the class) and to submit a complete application. Once you have done both, we can begin to process your application.
UHAB begins by looking at four factors:
- You must meet the income guidelines for a particular building.
- You must have a credit score high enough to get a loan (if you need one).
- You cannot currently own residential property.
- The maintenance must be affordable to you, and if you need a mortgage as well, the two combined must be affordable to your household's budget.
If you meet these criteria, the chance is good that we will successfully be able to work together. If you need to work on one or more of these factors, we nonetheless encourage you to apply if you are interested in the limited equity co-op model. As you work on improving your credit score, for example, you can also be in our Interest Pool, researching what we have available, and otherwise working with us.
Please note: if you currently own residential property, you will have to provide additional information to us about this property, its tenants (if applicable) and its finances for us to make a determination about eligibility.
UHAB works with two types of buildings: buildings that are being renovated now for a co-op conversion soon, and buildings that became HDFC co-ops years ago. In buildings that are not yet co-ops, UHAB is typically the temporary owner and serve sas the sponsor of the co-op conversion. In the case of buildings that became HDFC co-ops long ago, the sponsor is the co-op itself and UHAB has agreed to help that HDFC co-op publicize a unit that has become vacant. These HDFCs are already up and running, and have income guidelines, prices, and sales processes set up by the Board and shareholders based on their legal documents.
The co-ops UHAB helps sponsor come from programs to create affordable housing. As such, the co-ops will have both income rules for people becoming shareholders and caps on the resale prices when shareholders leave. Often, when UHAB is the direct sponsor of a co-op, the income cap will be 80% of the “Area Median Income.” However, in all cases the income cap will not exceed 120% of the "Area Medium Income” when UHAB is the direct sponsor of the co-op. Purchase prices are individual to a building and based on that building’s renovation scope and mortgage. Sometimes UHAB secures a purchase subsidy for future shareholders, which is reflected in a special, reduced purchase price for a building.
We make every effort to post photos of available apartments on our website. In addition to that, we will arrange for you to see an apartment when your application is selected for a board interview.
The application requirements are just that: requirements. However, if you feel that one does not apply to you, write us a note explaining why, so that we can include it in your application. Without your explanation, we will consider that document missing on our first review of your application, and ask you to produce it. This will hold up your application. But don't worry- if your explanation is unclear or insufficient, we will contact you to clarify.
We want to fill units with people who want to be shareholders in affordable, resident-controlled co-ops. If you are interested in us, we are interested in you. If your credit score is below 620, we believe it will be difficult for you to secure a loan and purchase. However, you may work on improving your credit and get back to us when it has gotten better. If you do apply, we will keep your application on file for a year.
We also recommend that you hook up with any of the 8 downstate members of the New York Mortgage Coalition to get homeownership counseling, take classes, and improve your chances of becoming a homeowner.
Don’t give up: we'd love for you to apply again when your score has improved.
We want to help co-op minded, income-eligible people become shareholders in the buildings we work with. Our process takes the time it takes. We work as quickly as we can, but we cannot specifically accommodate the deadline of an expiring lease.
UHAB lists every building with vacancies for which we have permission from the NYS Attorney General to market. We cannot predict when we will have new buildings, but we are working all the time to push buildings through renovation and to co-op conversion. We recommend that you check our website periodically for new listings. The first place we will publicly “announce” a new building is on the web.
UHAB makes affordable co-ops. In rare cases we “rent up” a building before the co-op conversion plan is finalized. However, we are not an organization that creates rentals.
I've already taken a Homeownership Class; Why do I have to take UHAB's?
Our one required class is the “Introduction to Limited Equity Co-ops”. The class describes this type of housing model and history. The class is not a “homeownership” class in the sense offered by certified homeownership counseling agencies, which UHAB is not. Our class introduces you to Limited Equity, HDFC Housing cooperatives and is different from anything taught by the City’s housing counseling organizations.
Once you have taken the UHAB Intro to Co-ops Workshop and we have received your application, we will contact you by phone or email in approximately 4 weeks.
We do not give updates over the phone. We do not give updates by email.
We use the date you fulfilled our two requirements to move you through the process. Our requirements to process you are a complete application (with all back-up material and the money order for the credit check) and attendance at a Homeownership Workshop. We contact applicants in the date order these requirements are met. We also consider income guidelines, household size, and the results of the interview with the Shareholder Selection Committee. If we are able to offer an applicant a unit, it will be sized appropriately based on our assessment of family need. If an applicant insists on a unit size we consider “over housed” – defined using NYC government and housing nonprofit standards -- all appropriately sized households will receive priority consideration before the applicant in question will be considered at all. Units in affordable co-ops are rare, and we work to make the resource match the need.
We work actively with the New York Mortgage Coalition. We invite you to check them out here. Please Note: purchasers seeking mortgage products or homeowner assistance through State of New York Mortgage Agenda (SONYMA) will be turned down. SONYMA does not make financial assistance available for purchasers into Article XI HDFCs. Both NYC's Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Home First and Neighborhood Housing Service's grant programs do lend to potential HDFC buyers, but SONYMA does not.
We do not give updates over the phone, by email, or in person. We have an enormous Interest Pool and no ability to respond to these requests. Once you submit your application, expect from us either contact by phone or email to alert you to your application’s “Missing Documents” or contact by phone or email to set up an interview. Again, we hope to set up an interview at the building most preferable to you that still has vacant units at that moment. We want to work with you. We will be in touch as soon as we can.
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