FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION GIVING CITY NEW TOOLS TO REHABILITATE BUILDINGS WITH UNSAFE HOUSING CONDITIONS
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
“The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 561-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members James, Brewer, Dilan, Comrie, Fidler, Gentile, Gonzalez, Koppell, Mark-Viverito, Martinez, McMahon, Nelson, Palma, Recchia, Weprin, Liu, Avella, Mendez, White, Garodnick, Jackson, Arroyo, Felder, Gennaro, Sears, de Blasio and the Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. This bill gives the City new tools to rehabilitate buildings with unsafe housing conditions.
“The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) currently operates a number of programs to address violations in rental housing that landlords are either unwilling or unable to remedy, which together amount to one of the broadest and most comprehensive housing code enforcement programs in the country.
“Introductory Number 561-A, also known as the Safe Housing Act, will enhance HPD’s existing enforcement strategies by targeting buildings with fundamental, systemic problems that require top-to-bottom repairs. The legislation will direct HPD to identify the City’s 200 most distressed buildings each year for participation in the program. It will require owners of these buildings to correct all violations directly related to providing heat and hot water and 80% of all hazardous and immediately hazardous violations within four months of receiving notice from HPD. In cases where an owner fails to make necessary repairs or meet other program obligations, HPD will perform a full, building-wide inspection, identify underlying problems, and make top-to-bottom repairs at the owner’s expense.
“Additionally, where the owner fails to make the necessary repairs on his or her own, the bill will require the owner, managing agent, or other representative of the building in the program to take an HPD-approved training course in building management after repairs are completed.
“When fully implemented, Introductory Number 561-A will better preserve the City’s housing stock, ensuring that tenants have sanitary, decent and safe places to live.
“I would like to thank HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan and his staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation.”
Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958