City steps up enforcement in 250 apartment buildings with 40,000 open violations

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picture by Daniel Lee on Unsplash

New York City will step up enforcement in 250 apartment buildings that together have approximately 40,000 Open Housing Maintenance Code violations. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced on Tuesday that the buildings, which include more than 5,000 households, will be placed in the city’s neighborhood. Alternate Law Enforcement Program (AEP), which aims to hold bad landlords accountable and improve the living conditions of tenants.

“All New Yorkers deserve safe, well-maintained homes, and homeowners across the city need to know that if they are unwilling to do what is right to provide that, we will take action,” said the Commissioner of HPD, Adolfo Carrion, Jr.

“The Alternative Enforcement Program is an effective set of tools at our disposal to hold landlords accountable when they don’t do the right thing with their tenants, and we’re not afraid to use them if it means quickly restore the city’s most troubled buildings. ”

The 250 buildings have nearly 40,000 open housing code violations, including 9,442 immediately dangerous (Class C), 21,821 dangerous (Class B), and 8,327 non-dangerous (Class A) violations. Class C infractions include mold, rodent marks, lead-based paint, and lack of heat, hot water, or electricity. Class B violations include issues such as leaks or holes.

The city annually selects multi-family buildings that have multiple violations of the Unsafe Housing Maintenance Code and places them in the AEP. For a building to be removed from AEP, owners within four months of notification must correct all class ‘c’ violations, replace the system, pay any outstanding fees, and submit a valid property registration statement .

Brooklyn has the most buildings placed in the program, with 119 buildings and 1,837 homes, followed by the Bronx with 72 buildings, Manhattan with 43 buildings, and Queens with 16. The full list is available. here.

More than 50 buildings placed in the program during this round are associated with owners listed on the Public Advocate’s annual directory Watchlist of the worst landlords in 2021. According to public attorney Jumaane Williams, the worst landlord in the city is David Schorr, who averaged 1,442 open violations at 17 buildings on the 2021 Watch List. The list also places the New York City Housing Authority as the worst overall landlord in town for its 600,480 open work orders last year.

“New York City tenants deserve to live in healthy homes, and there comes a time when the government needs to step in directly to intervene on behalf of tenants and hold landlords accountable for unsafe conditions. Round 15 of the Alternative Enforcement Program will do exactly that,” said Pierina Sanchez, Board Member and Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee.

“AEP is a powerful tool to hold negligent landlords accountable while improving conditions for thousands of tenants in 250 buildings located in predominantly low- and middle-income, immigrant, black and brown neighborhoods. I commend the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development for recognizing the plight of tenants and ensuring needs are met. »

If repairs are not completed within four months, HPD may facilitate emergency repairs at the owner’s expense. Repair bills are transferred to the Department of Finance and may result in a tax lien on the property, according to HPD.

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