HPD To Increase Number Of Inspection Teams To Deal With Heat Related Issues
New York, NY - New York
City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner
Rafael E. Cestero today announced that the agency will be adding additional
teams of inspectors this weekend as the temperatures are expected to stay below
freezing for Saturday and Sunday, and will have a Supervisor assigned to Office
of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Watch Command starting this Friday morning thru
Sunday night to respond to heat related emergencies. With the City now well into
“Heat Season,” Commissioner Cestero also reminded residential building owners of
their legal obligation to provide tenants with hot water year-round and heat
when the outdoor temperature warrants it.
2010 has gotten off to a frigid start in New York City with January
temperatures averaging 26 degrees with a low of 17 degrees. When the
temperatures drop below freezing for prolonged periods of time, HPD intensifies
their heat enforcement efforts by routinely deploying additional staff during
shifts, as they did for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends. This
weekend HPD will effectively double the number of inspection and maintenance
teams who will be in constant communication with contractors in order to make
emergency repairs when needed. Additionally, HPD will assign a Supervisor to the
OEM Watch Command, and continues their close relationship with sister agencies
throughout the City to quickly coordinate interagency responses to emergency
situations when necessary.
“When the temperature drops in New York City HPD fires up our efforts
to ensure that New Yorkers aren’t left out in the cold,” said HPD Commissioner
Cestero. “While we are increasing the presence of our inspection and maintenance
teams, it is a landlord’s legal responsibility to provide heat for their tenants
during the coldest months of the year. When heat goes out in a building it is a
health and safety hazard for all of the tenants, and if a landlord doesn’t take
action to restore service, HPD will step in and get the job done.”
The 2009/2010 “heat season” began on October 1, 2009 and continues
through May 31, 2010. During heat season, residential owners with tenants are
required by law to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees
Fahrenheit between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. when the outdoor temperature falls
below 55 degrees. Between 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., building owners must
maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls
below 40 degrees. Hot water is required to be maintained at
In order to respond to as quickly as possible to emergencies, HPD
fields a team of 304 total inspectors working in shifts, situated in offices
throughout all five boroughs to provide coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year. For situations that warrant the deployment of additional crews, such as
prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures, the agency will add additional
inspectors, as well as maintenance staff to any given shift, sometimes doubling
the normal number to help respond to complaints and emergencies.
“At all hours of the day, on holidays and weekends, and in every type
of weather, the dedicated inspectors and maintenance crews at HPD are on the job
24/7 to respond to the tenants of this City. When one building falls into
disrepair it can blight an entire neighborhood and cause a domino effect. HPD
crews play an integral role in strengthening neighborhoods and preserving
affordable housing in New York by keeping buildings up to code, safe, and in
livable conditions,” said Commissioner Cestero.
In the event of a heat deficiency, a tenant should first attempt to
notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not
restored, the tenant should call the City's Citizen Service Center at
311.Hearing-impaired tenants can call via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf TDD at
HPD will attempt to contact the building's owner to get heat or hot water
service restored. If service has not been restored, HPD will send an inspector
to the building to verify the complaint and immediately issue a violation. In
cases where private owners fail to restore heat and hot water, or when HPD is
unable to reach owners, HPD's Emergency Repair Program (ERP) may use in-house
staff and private contractors to make the necessary repairs. The cost of the
emergency repairs is billed to the private owner and becomes a tax lien on the
property if not paid. HPD also may initiate legal action against properties that
are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are
subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued
scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies
During the 2008/2009 heat season (October 1, 2008 – May 31, 2009):
- 248,147 heat and hot water problems were reported to the City through 311.
- HPD inspectors made 139,472 heat related inspections.
- HPD inspectors wrote 14,108 heat related violations.
- HPD completed a total of $6.1 million in heat related emergency repairs
(charged to building owners).
- HPD filed 4,016 heat cases in court and collected $2,244,260 in
To date, during the 2009/2010 heat season (October 1, 2009 – January
- 105,706 heat and hot water problems were reported to the City through 311.
- HPD inspectors made 37,704 heat related inspections.
- HPD inspectors wrote 4,292heat related violations.
- HPD completed a total of $1 million in heat related emergency repairs
(charged to building owners).
- HPD filed 1,043 heat cases in court and collected $727,838 in
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods
for New Yorkers. It is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and
development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing
Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing, HPD
also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education,
outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. For more
information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd