Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
Council Pushes Bill for Housing Fix
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
The New York City Council wants to crack down on do-nothing landlords. Members unanimously approved a bill Wednesday aimed at forcing owners of approximately 100 buildings with a history of violations to make repairs or face fines.
The buildings will be identified at the discretion the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Under the law, HPD can order a building owner to repair "underlying conditions," like a damaged roof, within four months, as well as submit documentation to prove the work has been completed.
HPD already issues violations for observed conditions like water damage, mold, or lack of heat and hot water.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn said this bill builds on the success of other clean-up programs in the city and would allow the agency to take efforts even further.
“Landlords are going to get pretty hip to skip and are going to start cleaning things up,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who first proposed the legislation in her 2012 State of the City address. “They don't need a whole bunch of HPD legal enforcement all over them.”
An owner who fails to comply faces fines of a minimum of $5,000 dollars per building, plus an additional $1000 per unit.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill into law.