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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 12-06
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Carmen E. Boon - (212) 863-5176


HPD Fosters Public Confidence by Providing Inspectors with Uniforms and Identification

Housing inspectors from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development(HPD)are recognizable by a uniform and City-issued identification. HPD has been issuing uniforms to all Code Enforcement inspectors, supervising inspectors and trainees since 2002. The following checklist is designed to help tenants recognize HPD housing inspectors:

  • City Issued ID: tenants should ask the inspector to show an ID.It should be a photo ID, not a badge and it will have a dark blue stripe on the bottom that identifies the inspector as HPD CodeEnforcement personnel.
  • Uniform:
  • black trousers
  • a short or long sleeve gray shirt (white for supervising inspectors) with shoulder epaulets and military creases and a patch that says “code enforcement” on the sleeves or,
  • a cotton polo shirt with the word “inspector” or “supervisor” on the sleeves 
  • a black necktie if appropriate for the shirt
  • a black belt
  • a black baseball cap with "HPD Code Enforcement" embroidered in gold letters
  • black windbreakers and bomber jackets in cooler weather. 
  • Foreign language-friendly: inspectors use a language card  that allows them to identify which language a non-English speaking or Limited English Proficient (LEP) tenant speaks and to request appropriate free interpretation services by phone.

Housing Inspectors are one of the most important points of contact between HPD and tenants in privately-owned buildings. They are crucial to HPD’s mission to preserve the city’s existing housing stock as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. In Fiscal Year 2005, HPD’s inspectors issued 482,674 housing maintenance code violations and 494,865 violations were corrected.  During the Fiscal Year 2006 heat season, 2,678 heat and hot water inspections were initiated by HPD inspectors and $1,906,870 was collected in civil penalties from heat and hot water cases.

HPD’s work is having an impact and the overall picture for New York City tenants is improving. Since the introduction of 311, tenants have been able to report building problems more easily and the number of inspections and violations issued has increased significantly. In Fiscal Year 2002, 375,781 violations were removed. In FY 2005 494,865 violations were removed and more violations were removed than issued. The recently released Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS) showed that neighborhood quality was the best in the 27-year period since the HVS started covering it.  The proportion of renter households that rated the quality of their neighborhood as “good” or “excellent” was 71.3 percent in 2005, a 2.2-percentage point improvement from 2002 and the best in the 27-year period since 1978 when the HVS began to measure household opinion of neighborhood quality.

HPD’s inspectors are also capable of providing multi-lingual services to non-English speakers and Limited English Proficient (LEP) NYC tenants and residents: of over 400 inspectors, more than 200 are bi-lingual speaking 30 languages, Spanish being the most common. Additionally, comprehensive Language Access Services are used by the agency’s Code Enforcement staff, including:

  • Use of the Language Card.
  • Use of a Language Line: a service that provides immediate, on-site interpretation via telephone while conducting an inspection.
  • 311, the City’s customer service number that tracks the language of callers while taking complaints. Immediate access to translation services in over 170 languages is available.

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The Department of Housing Preservation and Development's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation's largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation's history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

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