FAQs

The Parodneck Foundation was organized in 1970 to provide financial and technical assistance to groups of people in New York City attempting to solve or improve their poor housing conditions through mutual aid,
self-help and cooperation.
We are a New York State not-for-profit corporation. We are federally tax-exempt, which means that we are classified by the IRS as a public charity. And even though we have the authority to provide grants, our main focus is on providing services and financial assistance to low income senior homeowners and self-help housing groups.

Meyer Parodneck was a Polish immigrant who grew up on the Lower East Side in the early 20th Century. Having grown up in poverty and in squalid housing conditions, Meyer worked hard, became a lawyer, and founded the Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative, Inc. in 1937, which became one of the most successful “producer-consumer cooperatives” in the country. The purpose of the cooperative was was to provide upstate farmers “more money for their milk,” and to provide downstate consumers with “more milk for their money.”

In the late 60s, its mission being largely accomplished, the cooperative sold its assets to form the Consumer-Farmer Foundation, Inc. to focus on another of Mr. Parodneck’s longstanding interests, improving the housing conditions of low-income New Yorkers.

The Foundation’s Senior Citizen Homeowner Assistance Program (SCHAP) provides financial assistance to senior homeowners who are living in physically deteriorated housing or who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Since 1986 the program has provided over 1000 no- and low-interest loans and extensive technical assistance to qualified seniors. This enables seniors to retain their homes and improve their living conditions, thereby helping them avoid financial insolvency, displacement, and/or loss of independence.
A senior must be a New York City resident at least 60 years old, and have been an owner-occupant of a one- to four-family home for at least two years. The program also limits assistance to lower income households.
In the early to mid-nineties, many of the senior homeowners applying to us for assistance were beyond our help and facing bankruptcy or foreclosure. This introduced us to the scourge of predatory lending. Working with many local banking, government, and not-for-profit partners, we created the Citywide Mortgage Remediation Project, which arranges to have the debts of individuals who have been victims of predatory lending reduced (when possible) and restructured into a new, affordable loans. We are also certified by the New York State Banking Department as exempt mortgage bankers and brokers, and sometime help arrange for over-income homeowners to obtain prime loans from area banks. If a home has been lost to foreclosure, we are unable to assist with recovering title.

Mutual housing is a housing model widely used in Europe. CATCH is a mutual housing association, with about 800 units of housing, representing over $77 million dollars in private and public investment. Community Assisted Tenant Controlled Housing, Inc (CATCH) is an affiliated program of the foundation that, at the invitation of residents, local politicians, non-profit agencies, or the city, arranges and oversees the rehabilitation of abandoned or dilapidated buildings for eventual conversion to resident control.

Each local MHA is governed by a board of directors that includes residents, CATCH representatives, and sometimes people from the local community as well. All building residents are members of the MHA, and are legally entitled to vote for resident representatives on the board of directors or run for a position themselves.

Housing Development Fund Corporations (HDFCs) come in two forms: (1) not-for-profit rentals, where the residents or a not-for-profit community development corporation controls it, or (2) limited equity cooperatives, where the resident owners control the HDFC as shareholders. The Foundation maintains a fund that it draws on to provide low-interest loans to HDFCs, assisting over 6,000 units of low income housing since 1970.

The Foundation has a budget of approximately $1.7 million. Roughly a quarter of our income is derived from foundation, government and corporate grants, the balance from development fees and government contracts. We are governed by a board of 11 independent directors and have 21 full-time employees.

But most of our assistance is provided programmatically through direct loans to senior homeowners ($1,599,000); remediation services ($2,825,000 in refinancing); and arranging for financing assistance for mutual housing ($12,027,700), all in 2007.

We welcome tax deductible contributions to help support our work. Please feel free to look through our website, and to contact us at:

The Parodneck Foundation

  • 121 Sixth Avenue, Suite 501
    New York, NY 10013
  • Phone: (212) 431-9700
  • Fax: (212) 431-9783
  • E-mail: [email protected]