Erica Buckley - Affordable Housing - Nixon Peabody LLP

Erica F. Buckley



Erica F. Buckley leads our Cooperatives & Condominium practice, where she oversees various transactional matters and government investigations for clients involving real estate securities and other housing-related issues. Ms. Buckley is the former chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s office. During her tenure as chief, she oversaw the staff charged with the review of securities filings such as offering plans, amendments and no-action letters, as well as enforcement activities including Martin Act and Executive Law investigations and litigations.

What do you focus on?

I focus primarily on the Martin Act—New York’s blue-sky law, which governs real estate securities, including cooperative interests in realty (cooperatives, condominiums, homeowner associations and senior communities) and syndications (investments in real estate). I represent for-profit and nonprofit developers, lenders and government agencies on an array of issues involving real estate securities. Drawing on my experience as former chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau, I advise our clients on how to meet regulatory requirements effectively while minimizing risks relating to their properties, as well as guiding those clients who are under Attorney General investigation. I provide the following services to my clients.

Cooperative and Condominium Developer Services

I represent my developer clients on a broad array of issues involving the formation of condominiums, cooperatives, community land trusts, co-housing communities, leasehold properties and other investments such as syndications. I draft offering plans, no-action letters and exemption applications and submit those documents to the New York Attorney General’s office on behalf of my clients. I also provide strategic guidance on navigating the various city and state agencies that are key to the formation of for-sale projects. I provide peer review services to my lender and government agency clients, and I also provide policy guidance on an array of issues involving real estate securities. I also represent my developer and government agency clients on new construction development transactions, primarily those with a cooperative or condominium component. I have extensive knowledge of various city conversion programs such as third-party transfer, the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program and the Small Homes Rehab NYCHA, and act as counsel to both for-profit and nonprofit sponsors.

New York Attorney General Investigations

A substantial part of my work involves representing clients before the New York Attorney General’s office who are under investigation for alleged violations of the Martin Act or the Executive Law. I appear before the New York Attorney General’s office on behalf of clients under investigation, and I assist in brokering workable settlements to close out matters to avoid litigation. When necessary, I also provide guidance to my clients on litigation strategy.

New York City and State Government Relations

My work at the Attorney General’s Office afforded me the opportunity to cultivate strong relationships with city and state government agencies, including the New York Attorney General’s office, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York State Housing Finance Agency, and, in particular, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). I represent developers before these city and state agencies on various regulatory and transactional matters. I also provide guidance on legislative and policy matters on a broad range of real estate issues.

Cooperative and Condominium Board Services

As special counsel, I advise cooperative and condominium boards on complex legal issues such as major corporate changes, adoption of new governing documents and negotiations with city and state agencies on the procurement of real estate tax benefits and/or new financing. I work primarily with affordable housing cooperatives such as Housing Development Fund corporations or Mitchell-Lama cooperatives that are seeking to modernize their governing documents, adopt new resale policies and participate in programs such as the Article II to Article XI Conversion Program—a program I co-developed with HPD.

What do you see on the horizon?

New York’s real estate securities market is already showing signs of being impacted by the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Both tenants and owners are looking for advice on how to navigate the new landscape, including new ways of looking at co-op and condo conversions of rental housing. Moreover, many clients are seeking guidance on ways to work with the New York Attorney General’s office on shaping the recent changes to the law regarding co-op and condo conversions. Clients are also considering new options for properties such as affordable preservation through Article XI of the Private Housing Finance Law or 421-a. Finally, many developers and owners will continue to face unprecedented scrutiny from various city and state agencies, and the New York Attorney General will continue to use its vast powers under the Martin Act and Executive Law to zealously investigate and prosecute alleged wrongdoing in the real estate industry. I stand ready to represent my clients in all aspects of the changing landscape.

Publications

Select Presentations

  • “Shifting Landscape: Understanding Recent Tenant Protection Laws and Initiatives in New York City,” NYU Furman Center Policy Breakfasts, New York, NY, October 15, 2019
  • “State Rent Regulation Changes: What Affordable Housing Developers Need to Know,” NYHC Housing Marketing & Rent Law Policy Symposium, New York, NY, September 10, 2019
  • “The Attorney General’s Office: A Discussion About New York’s Top Real Estate and Business Regulator,” September 2018
  • “Housing Issues in Focus: Evaluating Homeownership Options in Light of the Current City and State Housing Policies,” September 2017
  • “The Affordable Housing New York Program (421-a),” Real Estate. The Economy. The Trump Effect. How Changes in Markets, Taxes and Politics are Shaping our Real Estate World Seminar, hosted by NY Metro CCIM Chapter of the CCIM Institute and Stewart Title, May 2017
  • “Fair Housing: Still Fair?” 18th Annual New York State Association for Affordable Housing Conference, May 2017
  • “Navigating City Approval Processes,” 18th Annual New York State Association for Affordable Housing Conference, May 2017
  • “Current Issues in Affordable Housing in New York City: Alternative Model for Permanent Affordability—Community Land Trusts,” New York City Bar Association CLE, May 2017
  • “New York’s Condo Market,” Real Estate Finance & Investment Briefing, June 2016
  • “The Future of Affordable Housing in New York City 2016,” New York City Bar Association CLE, May 2016
  • “Special Briefing for HDFC Shareholders,” Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, December 2015

Co-op and condo tax abatements could be tied to staff pay

Habitat | July 11, 2019

This story quotes New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley on a controversial new bill headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk. The bill would require co-op and condo owners to pay their nonunion employees more than twice the minimum wage to qualify for a key tax abatement.

Unintended result of new rent law may be less home ownership

Crain’s New York | July 09, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley wrote this op-ed outlining how a new law designed to protect tenants may actually reduce home ownership opportunities in the city, due to a provision making condo conversions more difficult.

New York Rent Law Sparks Response from Real Estate Industry

The Real Deal | July 01, 2019

This article features New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley discussing a new statewide housing law that could have a major impact of landlords’ ability to move forward with condo conversions.

Enforceability of shortened period for suing condo sponsor

New York Law Journal | June 04, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley wrote this contributed column on the statute of limitations governing the length of time unit owners and condo boards have to sue a condo sponsor. The column is part of Erica’s regular series, “Ask the Former Regulator.”

The 2019 Law Power 50

City & State | May 13, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner and Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader Erica Buckley is included in this inaugural list of the 50 most influential lawyers in New York state.

‘Grossing Up’ and ‘Seller Concessions’: Advice for Sponsors

New York Law Journal | March 01, 2019

Cooperatives & Condominiums Practice Team Leader Erica Buckley, based in New York City, authored this “Ask the Former Regulator” column. The article discusses “grossing up” and “seller concessions” and what scenarios are permissible under the Martin Act in New York.

Number games: How developers inflate the height of their penthouses

The Real Deal | February 19, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this story on the common practice of misnumbering residential floors in luxury condo developments to give the impression of a higher position in the building.

2019 Notable Women in Law

Crain’s New York | January 01, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partners Erica Buckley and Tatiana Gutierrez are featured on this annual list honoring the top women in law in New York.

What would Tish James do?

The Real Deal | September 30, 2018

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted extensively in this article about how a win for Democratic attorney general candidate Tish James could impact the city’s real estate industry.

What would Attorney General Letitia James mean for real estate?

The Real Deal | September 18, 2018

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this article about how New York real estate will evolve if nominee Letitia James becomes the next attorney general. 

Behind the AG finance bureau’s master plan

The Real Deal | August 31, 2018

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley provides commentary in this article is about the impact of the New York Attorney General Real Estate Finance Bureau’s work to modernize operations, strengthen enforcement and broaden its scope.

Size matters: fishy ways of measuring of co-ops and condos

Habitat | June 17, 2018

New York City affordable housing and real estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this article on the varying standards for measuring square footage in for-sale units in New York City.

At star-studded 443 Greenwich, condos are smaller than advertised

The Real Deal | June 12, 2018

New York City affordable housing and real estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this article discussing the debate within the city’s real estate market over how to measure the square footage of condominium units and co-ops.

Sizing up the AG contenders

The Real Deal | May 31, 2018

New York City affordable housing and real estate partner Erica Buckley, who was formerly chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau in the state attorney general’s office, is quoted in this story for her perspective on how a new leader will change the office’s approach to housing law.

Nixon Peabody beefs up NY real estate group with new partner, new practice

American Lawyer | May 23, 2018

Affordable housing and real estate partner Erica Buckley and project finance and public finance partner Roddy Devlin are both quoted in this article announcing an expansion of our real estate practice in New York City.

Demo Plan Collapses as WV Houses Go Market Rate

The Villager | March 08, 2018

New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley is mentioned in this article for representing the board of the West Village Houses complex as it transitions from an HDFC co-op to a normal co-op.

City Offers a $250 Million Carrot for Mitchell-Lamas

Habitat | January 24, 2018

In this article on New York City’s Mitchell-Lama affordable housing program, New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley is quoted on whether an infusion of cash from the mayor’s office can dissuade co-op owners who want to sell at market rates.

City Offering $250 Million to Mitchell-Lamas to Stay Put

Habitat | October 31, 2017

This article quotes New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley regarding Major Bill de Blasio’s $250M offering plan to preserve Mitchell-Lamas in the city.

The incredible shrinking Mitchell-Lama program

Habitat | September 06, 2017

New York affordable housing partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this article about the state of the Mitchell-Lima affordable housing program in New York.

The war inside Trump Village

Crain’s New York | August 20, 2017

New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley provides commentary on the complications that arise when apartments exit affordable housing programs.

HDFC's Proposed Regulations Shake Up Co-op Shareholders

The Cooperator | July 26, 2017

New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley provides third-party commentary about a proposed regulation by New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development department (HPD).

The laterals audit: tax attorney moves in June

Law360 | June 29, 2017

The following coverage includes the arrival of New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley to Nixon Peabody.

Who’s news

Real Estate Weekly | June 29, 2017

The following coverage includes the arrival of New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley to Nixon Peabody.

HPD says new 421a “undermines” parts of inclusionary housing program

The Real Deal | June 28, 2017

New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this article about a new rule change proposed by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development that will limit how air rights are distributed to developers.

Movers & Shakers

The Deal | June 11, 2017

This coverage includes the arrival of New York City affordable housing partner Erica Buckley to Nixon Peabody.

Nixon Peabody adds affordable housing pro from Stroock

Law360 | June 07, 2017

This feature discusses how Erica’s extensive experience, particularly in 421-A tax exemptions and the Martin Act, having previously served as the chief regulator of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the NY Attorney General’s office, will bolster NP’s affordable housing practice.

On the move

New York Law Journal | June 07, 2017

This feature discusses how Erica’s extensive experience, particularly in 421-A tax exemptions and the Martin Act, having previously served as the chief regulator of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the NY Attorney General’s office, will bolster NP’s affordable housing practice.

People on the move

Bloomberg BNA | June 05, 2017

This article mentions New York affordable housing partner Erica Buckley’s arrival at Nixon Peabody.

People on the move

Affordable Housing News | June 05, 2017

This article mentions New York affordable housing partner Erica Buckley’s arrival at Nixon Peabody.

Contact

Erica F. Buckley

Partner

New York

Phone: 212-940-3733


Fax: 844-380-7135

City University of New York School of Law at Queens College, J.D.

State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A.

New York

Erica Buckley was awarded the Habitat for Humanity 2019 Leadership Volunteer Habby Award. She has also been recognized by City & State New York as one of the state's “Power Law 50” attorneys. The “Power Law 50” list recognizes 50 of New York’s most influential attorneys outside of government who demonstrate and command an in-depth understanding of the laws governing their practices. She was also included in Crain’s New York inaugural list recognizing “Leading Women Lawyers in New York City.”

Erica is a member of various organizations, including but not limited to the Furman Center, where she sits on the Board of Advisors; the New York City Bar Association Cooperatives and Condominiums Committee; the New York State Bar Association Committee on Cooperative and Condominium Law; the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), where she sits on their Housing Committee; the Habitat for Humanity New York City, where she is a member of the Leadership Council; the CUNY School of Law Foundation Board, where she sits on the board of directors; and the New York Mortgage Coalition, where she sits on the board of directors..

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