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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


DEPUTY MAYOR STEEL, COUNCIL SPEAKER QUINN, HPD COMMISSIONER WAMBUA, TECHNOLOGY COMMISSIONER POST ANNOUNCE 3,500 BUILDINGS NOW USING NEW ONLINE SYSTEM FOR CERTIFYING CORRECTION OF HOUSING CODE VIOLATIONS

More than 11,000 Violations Certified Using HPD’s eCertification At Residential Buildings of All Sizes 

eCertification Eliminates Time Consuming Paperwork And Allows Certification of Multiple Violations With The Click Of A Mouse

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua, and NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Carole Post announced that eCertification is now being used by 3,500 residential buildings across the city to certify that a housing code violation issued by HPD have been corrected by the owner or manager within the legally required timeframe. Local Law 29, which was introduced and passed by the City Council required HPD to accept electronic certifications of correction of violations of the Housing Maintenance Code.  eCertification was officially launched in June 2011 in an effort to streamline a procedure that requires a property manager to complete notarized paperwork for each violation that they want to certify as having been corrected. 

“eCertification is a great example of Mayor Bloomberg’s focus on using technology to make it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to interact with their government,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “We are proud that HPD’s efforts in this area have been successful so far, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Speaker Quinn and the City Council to build on this initial success.” 

As of January 2012, approximately 3,500 buildings are currently enrolled in eCertification.  Over 1,000 buildings are enrolled in both the Bronx and Brooklyn, with over 60 percent of the registered buildings having more than 20 units. Over 1,000 medium sized buildings ranging between 6-20 units are also enrolled, indicating that eCertification is a valuable and accessible tool for residential property owners of average sized buildings as well as managers of large properties.  Through eCertification, almost 11,000 violations have been certified on time since the system went live. This number represents approximately 7 percent of all certifications received during the time period, and HPD expects the number to continue to steadily increase as more owners become familiar with the program through the agency’s continued outreach.   

“eCertification is an important technology that will continue to improve the lives of tenants and property owners by making it easier clear outstanding violations,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I want to thank Deputy Mayor Steel and Commissioner Wambua for their efforts to streamline this process, Council Member Letitia James for sponsoring the legislation that helped create this system and Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Erik Martin Dilan for his work on this issue.”  

“I am extremely pleased with the initial success of the eCertification system. That 3,500 buildings of all sizes have already registered and cleared 11,000 violations is a testament to what the intersection of government and technology should be providing to the public,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “It’s these innovative yet simple solutions that streamline everyday processes, make government more efficient, and offer real value and utility to New Yorkers. I thank Speaker Quinn, the Council, and Commissioner Post for their partnership in helping to create a new system that assists in our mission to maintain our housing stock and better serve our city’s tenants and property owners.” 

“eCertification enables property owners to file necessary paperwork faster and easier than ever – saving them time and money,” said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post.  “This new tool establishes a secure and efficient way to do business with the City, not only for customers of HPD but those of other agencies as well.” 

Under the New York City Housing Maintenance Code, HPD can issue violations for housing maintenance conditions.  Property owners have a legal obligation to correct those violations and certify each the correction of each violation to the agency within prescribed periods of time, depending on the classification and type of violation (more information on the requirements for certification can be found on HPD’s website, www.nyc.gov/hpd).  Prior to eCertification, property owners could only notify the agency that a violation was corrected by properly completing, notarizing and submitting a hard copy Notice of Violation (NOV) by either hand delivering or sending it registered mail to the appropriate HPD borough office. If more than one NOV was issued, the process had to be repeated for each individual violation. 

“I am pleased to hear that the e Certification Release system is succeeding. eCertification Release is an up-to-date solution that will help preserve and rehabilitate buildings with unsafe housing conditions throughout the city. It really helps streamline the process. The eCertification system ensures that residents living in rental buildings receive prompt and full repairs to their apartments,” said Council Member Letitia James. 

“RSA strongly believes in a code enforcement system that reflects an accurate picture of building conditions. E-certification allows HPD to have this accurate picture in a timely fashion,” said Joseph Strasburg, President of The Rent Stabilization Association

eCertification brings the violation correction and certification process online to HPD’s webpage in one easy-to-access location, and allows a property owner to electronically certify multiple violations of different classes, on different NOVs, with different due dates all in the same session —eliminating duplicative paperwork and the need for separate notarizations and delivery to the agency for each. The new process allows owners to enroll in the eCertification program by submitting only one notarized hard copy enrollment form as long as their building maintains a valid registration with HPD. eCertification also eliminates mistakes such as failing to properly complete the certification form, which can cause delays in processing, and it provides an immediate electronic receipt to the user. As with the current certification process, tenants will still receive notification of all certified violations and have an opportunity to challenge the certification by requesting a follow-up inspection from HPD. Click here to view HPD’s E-Certification page.  

In order to take advantage of eCertification, a person must be the valid property owner or the owner’s officer or managing agent, the building must have an up to date registration, and the person must be an HPD Online user with a valid login and password. Only one user may be enrolled for E-Certification for a specific property, and enrollment must be completed for each property for which an owner wishes to utilize eCertification. The paper certification system is still available to those property owners and managers who wish to use it. 

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About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 129,600 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd

About the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)

The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) provides for the sustained, efficient and effective delivery of IT services, infrastructure and telecommunications to enhance service delivery to New York City’s residents, businesses, employees and visitors.  DoITT is at the center of shaping the City’s IT strategy and policy, especially as it relates to the emerging and innovative technologies making government more effective and user-friendly. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/doitt 




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