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Know Your Rights
Source: NY1
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

City Council Aims To Crack Down On Bad Landlords

The legislation that is now known as the “Safe Housing Act” was spearheaded by Make the Road by Walking, City Council Members, and other community organizations. We have been active for over two years in bringing about the passage of the bill formerly called the “Healthy Homes Act”. 

Tired of slapping deadbeat landlords with fines that they never pay, the City Council is looking to go even further to crack down on major housing violations.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn introduced a bill Thursday that will allow the city’s housing agency to step in and make major repairs at apartments with dozens of past violations and a history of emergency repairs.

Under the Safe Housing Act, the city would be allowed to overhaul entire building systems like heating or plumbing. The landlords would then be forced to pay for the work.

"This bill is going to move us forward with greater focus on the worst landlords in the City of New York, those who have let buildings significantly deteriorate,” said Quinn. “We’re going to target 200 a year until there are no more buildings, we hope, of that substandard level."

Under the law, landlords whose buildings are dilapidated would have four months to correct the violations.

If they fail to make the repairs the city will make the improvements and charge the landlords. Under the current laws, the city can make emergency repairs, but then it has to try to get the owners to pay.

Quinn says the bill could bring as many as a thousand of the city’s most run-down buildings into compliance with the housing maintenance code.