From the NY Post:
A little-known home ownership program meant for low-income New Yorkers is being exploited by savvy buyers looking to make a quick buck.
Turns out you can buy a co-op in the city for $250 -- about what it would cost you to spend a night at a hotel -- and then flip the unit at market rate.
About 1,200 buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx feature about 25,000 co-op apartments that sell from $250 to $40,000. To qualify for one, you can't make more than 165 percent of the average income for New York City and surrounding counties. For a family of four, the max earnings would be $125,400.
Plenty of New Yorkers in positions of power live in these so-called "low-income co-ops," including, as The Post reported last week, city Housing Commissioner Margarita Lopez and city Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.
The program, which advocates say makes home ownership possible for thousands of New Yorkers, is rife with abuse.
A building at 141 Attorney St. is a case in point, says its former manager. The city sold the former tenement for $5,000 -- $250 a pop for 20 units -- to the tenants in 1997 with the intention that it operate "solely as a housing project for persons or families of low income," according to the contract the city filed with the deed.
But lately, tenants have been flipping the apartments at market prices, alleges the building's former manager, Roberto Caballero. City oversight of low-income co-ops was virtually non-existent until recent years.