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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 1, 2013

Eric Bederman 212-863-5176


HPD COMMISSIONER WAMBUA ANNOUNCES LIST OF 200 BUILDINGS WITH 2,552 UNITS IN LATEST ROUND OF ALTERNATIVE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

200 “Worst” Buildings In AEP Round Six Owe Combined $1.3 Million in Emergency Repair Charges and Carry More Than 26,600 Open Housing Code Violations

 New York, NY - New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua released the list of 200 residential buildings that have been placed into the agency’s sixth round of the Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP). The AEP, which was originally signed into law in 2007, is aimed at increasing the pressure on the owners of the City’s most distressed multifamily residential buildings to bring the properties up to code so that the residents are not forced to live in substandard and hazardous conditions.

The buildings were selected using the updated criteria that was adopted by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2011. Of all six rounds, this is the third round of AEP with buildings selected under the amended criteria, which was modified to qualify a larger number of buildings with 20 or more units for the program. With more units captured under AEP’s umbrella, thousands more New Yorkers will benefit from the stabilizing effects of increased enforcement and improved living conditions.

“AEP is much more than a list of distressed buildings. It is one of the most effective enforcement tools in the City for holding negligent landlords accountable, ridding buildings of hazardous conditions, and bringing relief to tens of thousands of tenants across the city,” said HPD Commissioner Wambua. “We will not let these buildings continue to threaten the safety of the tenants, or act as the dominos that start a chain reaction of destabilization in the community. If landlords don’t step up and take responsibility, we will bring the full complement of AEP’s enforcement powers to bear. I’d like to thank the men and women at HPD working in Special Enforcement, Housing Litigation, Neighborhood Preservation, Maintenance, and Code Enforcement for their tireless commitment to protecting our City’s tenants, and for bringing hundreds AEP buildings back into good repair since the program’s inception.”

"AEP is a groundbreaking program that successfully targets and fixes the City buildings most in need of repair,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Since passing the Council’s Safe Housing Act into law in 2007, 579 buildings have been restored and discharged from AEP and over $20 million has been recovered by HPD, making AEP a win for the City, and most importantly, a win for tenants. Today’s release of the latest round of the worst buildings in New York City makes it clear to landlords that their inaction has not gone unnoticed, and that if they don’t step up, the City will.”

 Together the 200 buildings in Round Six carry a total of 5,414 non-hazardous (A-class), 16,728 hazardous (B-class) and 4,497 immediately hazardous (C-class) violations, and owe the City more than $1.3 million in Emergency Repair Program (ERP) charges. ERP charges are money owed to the City for repairs done by HPD to correct immediately hazardous violations that the owner failed to address in a timely manner. Additionally, HPD’s Housing Litigation Division (HLD) is currently active in 123 housing court cases against the owners of 81 of these buildings. The HLD caseload included, but was not limited to, cases for access warrants to allow HPD and their contractors onto some properties to perform repairs to immediately hazardous conditions, Comprehensive Cases seeking to correct all violations within a building and/or civil penalties, heat and hot water cases, and support for tenant actions.

Number of Buildings/Units per Borough in AEP Round Six:

  • Manhattan: 24 buildings/491units
  • Bronx: 58 buildings/1,233 units
  • Brooklyn: 102 buildings/744 units
  • Queens: 13 buildings/74 units
  • Staten Island: 3 buildings/10 units

Of the 200 buildings placed into Round Five last year, 75 buildings have been discharged, 21,457 violations have been corrected, and the City has directly recovered more than $1.39 million in ERP charges, AEP fees and liens; not including arrears that will be collected through approved repayment plans.

To be discharged from the program and taken off the AEP list, a building owner must act affirmatively to demonstrate that conditions at the property are improving. This means correcting all violations associated with heat and hot water, all C-class and 80% of B-class mold violations, 80% of all violations related to vermin, 80% of all remaining B- and C-class violations, and correct all related underlying conditions detailed in the AEP Order to Correct. The owner must also submit a pest management plan to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene if there is an infestation, submit a valid property registration statement, and repay all outstanding charges and liens for emergency repair work performed by HPD or enter into a repayment agreement with the NYC Department of Finance.

Buildings/Units throughout all previous rounds of the AEP (Rounds 1-5):

  • Manhattan: 64 buildings/1,402 units
  • Bronx: 300 buildings/4,815 units
  • Brooklyn: 587 buildings/3,880 units
  • Queens: 45 buildings/201 units
  • Staten Island: 4 buildings/27 units
  • A total of 579 buildings have been discharged
  • $26.2 million has been recovered in ERP and AEP charges, fees and liens (not including approved repayment plans)

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 About the Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP):

The legislation establishing the AEP—the New York City Safe Housing Law (Local Law No. 29 of 2007)—was passed by the City Council in April 2007 and signed into law by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on June 15 of that year. The criteria was amended and passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2011. The program calls for the designation each year of 200 different multiple dwellings, each to be chosen based on specific criteria set forth in the Safe Housing Law. Landlords with properties selected for the AEP have been put on notice that comprehensive repairs must be made. If those repairs are not initiated HPD is authorized to undertake a comprehensive review of the building, to make the necessary repairs, and to bill the landlord for that work. After repairs are made, there will be an ongoing monitoring program to ensure buildings do not fall back into disrepair and that necessary ongoing maintenance is made by the landlord. The program is aimed at improving conditions for tenants and to avoid the need for HPD personnel to repeatedly visit these buildings to correct reoccurring problems. For more information about AEP and to view the Round 5 list and all previous AEP lists please visit HPD’s website at, http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/owners/aep.shtml 

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 142,800 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd 




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