Skip to content
Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Health Justice & Access
Type: Event

MRNY Wins Law to Help Tenants Breathe Easier

PHOTO: MRNY member Gladys Puglia speaks at safe housing press conference.
MRNY member Gladys Puglla advocates for the new safe housing legislation, flanked by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Gale Brewer.

Dear Friends:

Every day, thousands of families in New York City are endangered by sub-standard housing conditions that trigger asthma. Although asthma is epidemic in New York’s low-income communities of color and is the leading cause of hospitalization and missed school days among NYC children, landlords frequently fail to treat infestations of rodents, mold and cockroaches that cause these asthma attacks.

On January 5, MRNY and our allies won passage of comprehensive City legislation that will crack down on these dangerous housing conditions that endanger families. [NY Times, NY 1]

The legislation, Intro 436-A, will require building-wide remediation of asthma-triggering housing code violations in thousands of the worst housing units throughout New York City. The law will also strengthen the impact of the City’s innovative Alternative Enforcement Program, designed to fix NYC’s 200 worst buildings each year, by doubling the number of housing units repaired annually under the program to more 3,000.

PHOTO: Maria Cortes fights for safe housing conditions.
“Tenants should not have to suffer from asthma attacks because of our landlords’ irresponsibility. This law will ensure families like us are protected and lawless landlords are held accountable.”
– MRNY member Maria Cortes

This win will make a world difference for tenants like Maria Cortes, who has made several emergency room visits due to respiratory problems caused by moldy walls and roaches in her family’s apartment: “My building has 186 open violations, 40 of which are in my apartment. My landlord was ordered to make the repairs but he has done very little… This law will ensure families like us are protected and lawless landlords are held accountable.”

MRNY would like to thank our close allies in the Coalition for Asthma-Free Homes, Council Member Rosie Mendez, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Commissioner Rafael Cestero of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Mayor Bloomberg for their important work to promote healthy housing conditions for all New Yorkers.

~ Photos by Claudio Papapietro ~