Hardly a week goes by where Sheepshead Bites doesn’t receive an e-mail from an aggrieved co-op apartment building resident, taking issue with their board. Sometimes they even organize anti-board rallies or try to usurp the board altogether. And one thing’s for sure, there ain’t much oversight over these quasi-corporate, quasi-residential buildings.
Well, now there’s a show for them – and anyone else thinking of buying a co-op unit.
The Russian American Community Coalition of New York (RACCNY) is set to create “Co-Op Passions,” a reality show which will depict the many issues related to the rights of cooperative shareholders.
A “co-op,” or cooperative, is a jointly owned commercial venture that constructs and allocates goods and services. They are generally run in order to benefit their shareholders. However, as will be demonstrated in the show, Co-ops can come along with more harm than benefits.
The show will presumably include 10 episodes, which are to be aired on YouTube and Facebook. It will convey true stories of New York shareholders and the issues they faced with the Co-op board members, sponsors, supers, and management companies. Names will be changes in order to protect the identities of those featured in the show.
The first five episodes of this reality show are already underway. The first episode, entitled “Problems Problems Problems…” will display the rampant infringements on the rights of cooperative shareholders. “Where Has Our Money Gone?” the second episode, will portray the misuse of monetary power in Co-ops. The third episode, “What Can I Do?” will educate shareholders on ways in which they can protect their rights and interests. The fourth, “Independent Inspection,” shows a situation in which an independent inspection of a shareholder is arranged. “Legal Aid,” the fifth episode, will feature stories of cooperative shareholders who attempted to file a complaint through the office of the Attorney General.
This show is part of a project that wishes to expose the unknown side of Co-op ownership. Through the use of cinematic techniques, the internet, and the media, RACCNY hopes to reveal the problems related to Co-ops. They wish for government officials to respond and attempt to fix these setbacks. Consequently, if successful, RACCNY feels this project will assist in reinstating fairness to cooperative shareholders in the eye of the law.
RACCNY is a non-profit organization that attends to the Russian speaking community of New York. In addition to other activities, RACCNY seeks to aid owners of New York Cooperatives apartments, help them comprehend their entitlements as shareholders, and assist them in handling arguments. They also hold seminars and offer free legal advice to shareholders.