The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announces 250 buildings with a high number of serious violations have been placed in the City’s Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP), an initiative that heightens enforcement against the City’s most distressed multi-family buildings. Over 50 buildings from Round 15 of AEP are associated with property owners listed on annual New York City Public Advocate’s Worst Landlord Watchlist.
“All New Yorkers deserve safe, well-maintained homes, and landlords across the city need to know that if they are unwilling to do what is right to provide that, we will take action,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión, Jr. “The Alternative Enforcement Program is an effective set of tools at our disposal to hold landlords accountable when they don’t do right by their tenants, and we are not afraid to use them if it means getting the city’s most troubled buildings into shape quickly.”
“The Alternative Enforcement Program has proven to be an effective mechanism for protecting tenants from uninhabitable living conditions and empowering them to remain in their homes and communities,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “This program is one way that we are working in both city and state government to preserve affordable apartments in buildings that are most at risk, and to ensure that bad actors are held accountable for knowingly allowing apartments to fall into disrepair.”
“New York City tenants deserve to live in healthy housing, and there comes a time when government must directly step in to intervene on behalf of tenants and hold landlords accountable for hazardous conditions. Round 15 of the Alternative Enforcement Program will do just this,” said Housing and Buildings Chair Pierina Sanchez. “AEP is a powerful tool to hold negligent landlords accountable while improving conditions for thousands of tenants in 250 buildings located in predominantly low and moderate-income, immigrant, Black and Brown neighborhoods. I commend the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development for recognizing tenant distress and working to ensure needs are met. I look forward to monitoring the success of Round 15 and working together to ensure all New Yorkers have the safe and healthy housing conditions they deserve.”
Every year, a round of severely distressed buildings in need of major repair are selected for the alternative enforcement program. Round 15’s 250 buildings have almost 40,000 open housing code violations including 9,442 immediately hazardous (Class-C) violations, 21,821 hazardous (Class-B), and 8,327 non-hazardous (Class-A). Immediately hazardous violations include mold, evidence of rodents, lead-based paint, and the lack of heat, hot water, or electricity. Class-B hazardous violations include conditions, such as leaks or holes in plaster or sheetrock.
HPD’s Housing Litigation Division is currently seeking repairs in housing court against the owners of 117 of the selected buildings and the owners owe the City $3 million for Emergency Repair Program (ERP) charges. ERP charges accrue when HPD pays to correct immediately hazardous violations that an owner fails to address in a reasonable time.
Number of Buildings/Homes per Borough in AEP Round 15:
- Manhattan: 43 buildings/1,059 homes
- Bronx: 72 buildings/ 1,977 homes
- Brooklyn: 119 buildings/1,837 homes
- Queens: 16 buildings/ 231 homes
The full list of buildings selected for the AEP program are on the HPD website.
To get discharged from the alternative enforcement program without penalty, owners must correct most violations with in the first four months, including all heat and hot water violations, 80% of hazardous mold violations, pest violations, and 100% of all other class “B” and “C” violations. Buildings not discharged within the first four months of the initial notice are also subject to significant fees.
If the conditions are not corrected within four months, HPD may facilitate emergency repairs at the owner’s expense. Repair bills are transferred to the Department of Finance and may result in a tax lien against the property. HPD could also petition the Housing Court to have a 7A Administrator take control of the building to collect rent and make the necessary repairs.