Learn About HDFC History

In the 1970s NYC teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. Hundreds of dilapidated buildings in poor neighborhoods had been abandoned by their landlords, who left behind a mountain of unpaid real estate taxes and thousands of distressed families. Some of the buildings were condemned, or squatted in by junkies or drug dealers.

They became the property of a financially exhausted City that didn't want them and couldn't sell them: there was no market for derelict buildings filled with poor people in "dangerous" neighborhoods.

To unload these white elephants, the City turned them into Housing Development Fund Corporation, or HDFC, cooperatives. This allowed about 30,000 low-income and modest, working families to attain home-ownership.

After decades of herculean efforts, and despite overwhelming odds, we, the shareholders in these co-ops, have largely turned our buildings from disaster areas into well-run, financially sound homes. We've contributed to the revitalization of our neighborhoods, and have expanded the City's real estate tax base. In short, the City has enjoyed spectacular returns on its relatively modest investment of funds and tax abatements for the HDFC co-op home-ownership program.

Instead of celebrating our success, the City is demonizing us as gentrifiers and predators, so they can go back on their deal four decades later and take control of our homes. And those of us who are struggling to keep our co-ops above water because we started this journey without the resources of the middle or upper classes are being thrown to the wolves, facing foreclosures by the City, which will sell our homes to the highest bidders.