Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that 250 apartment buildings have been placed in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Alternative Enforcement Program, an initiative that shines a spotlight on multi-family buildings whose owners have allowed them to fall into dangerous disrepair. The buildings, listed here, each have enough health and safety code violations to allow for enhanced enforcement by HPD, including roof to cellar inspections, fees, and an AEP Order to Correct underlying conditions and bring the buildings up to code.
This is the 11th year of the AEP program, and this round’s 250 buildings – home to 3,970 families – have a combined total of 26,301 housing code violations. Since AEP’s inception, 1,647 buildings with 22,033 apartments have been repaired, and more than $74 million in repair costs recovered by HPD.
“This kind of willful negligence puts tenants in danger. It is immoral and illegal and we will use every tool we have to go after property owners and make these buildings safe for New York families,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“HPD is working on all fronts to make sure that landlords live up to their obligations to provide tenants with the safe, quality housing that they rightfully deserve. The Alternative Enforcement Program is a powerful tool to take negligent owners to task and address systemic conditions in buildings,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank the hardworking team in HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, as well as the many elected officials and community groups who partner with us to protect our city’s tenants.”
“All New Yorkers deserve to live in safe housing and to have hazardous violations resolved immediately,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Alternative Enforcement Program, established through legislation passed by the City Council, helps protect our most vulnerable tenants who are living in deplorable conditions because of unscrupulous landlords. I thank the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for their continued diligence in improving housing conditions for our city’s tenants.”
“The Alternative Enforcement Program helps ensure that families and individuals have safe, livable and affordable housing,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “I commend Commissioner Torres-Springer and the City Administration for their diligence in continuing this initiative with such success and making it possible for thousands of families to feel comfortable and secure in their homes.”
“It is the responsibility of every residential landlord in this city to provide safe, livable accommodation to their tenants. When they neglect to invest in the repairs necessary to keep their buildings safe and habitable, they endanger the lives of New Yorkers who work hard to afford to live in this city. Programs like AEP help hold these neglectful landlords accountable, and most importantly, help keep New Yorkers safe,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
Number of Buildings/Homes per Borough in AEP Round 11:
- Manhattan: 47 buildings/ 940 homes
- Bronx: 57 buildings/ 1,169 homes
- Brooklyn: 127 buildings/ 1,435 homes
- Queens: 18 buildings/ 370 homes
- Staten Island: 1 building/ 56 homes
The 250 buildings in Round 11 have a total of 4,859 immediately hazardous (C-class) violations, 21,442 hazardous (B-class), and 7,602 non-hazardous (A-class). Immediately hazardous violations include inadequate fire exits, evidence of rodents, lead-based paint, and the lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas. Class B hazardous violations repair conditions, such as leaks or holes in plaster or sheetrock. Non-hazardous, or A-class, include more minor leaks, chipping or peeling paint when no children under the age of six live in the home.
HPD’s Housing Litigation Division is currently active in 277 housing court cases against the owners of 161 of these buildings seeking to correct all violations. HLD’s caseload includes cases for access warrants to allow HPD and their contractors onto properties to perform repairs. The division also provides support for Tenant Action Cases, initiated by tenants against their landlords.
The Round 11 buildings already owe the City more than $1.5 million to HPD Emergency Repair Program charges. ERP charges accrue when repairs are done by HPD to correct immediately hazardous violations that the owner failed to address in a timely manner.
Legislation establishing the program, the 2007 New York City Safe Housing Law (Local Law No. 29 of 2007), calls for an annual list of different multiple dwellings with high counts of the most serious building code violations based on a broad set of criteria, including paid or unpaid emergency repair charges. Additional financing from Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council in 2014 allowed for an increase in the number of buildings in the annual round, from 200 to 250 buildings targeted a year. The funding allowed for increased AEP staff and an increase in emergency repairs that can be made by HPD.
To be discharged from the program, 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 immediately hazardous violations; 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/Homes discharged throughout all previous rounds of the AEP (Rounds 1-10):
- Manhattan: 191 buildings/ 4,116 homes
- Bronx: 496 buildings/ 9,803 homes
- Brooklyn: 881 buildings/ 7,537 homes
- Queens: 72 buildings/ 536 homes
- Staten Island: 7 buildings/ 41 homes
AEP Selection Criteria (Round 11):
- Buildings with 15 or more units must have a ratio of 3 or more open “class B” and “class C” violations per dwelling unit issued in the past 5 years, and paid or unpaid ERP charges equal to or more than $2,500 incurred in the past 5 years as of January 30, 2017.
- Buildings with between 3 and 14 units must have a ratio of 5 or more “class B” and “class C” violations per dwelling unit issued in the past 5 years and paid or unpaid ERP charges equal to or less than $5,000 incurred in the past 5 years as of January 30, 2017.
- The buildings selected must be ranked so that those with the highest paid or unpaid ERP charges in the last 5 years are selected first. No more than 25 buildings with less than 6 units can be selected.
- If there are not enough buildings that meet the above criteria, HPD may select the remainder of the buildings based on the following criteria:
- Buildings with six or more units that have a ratio of 4 or more open class B or class C violations per dwelling unit issued in the past 5 years. The buildings selected must be ranked so that those with the highest number of open hazardous and immediately hazardous violations issued in the last 5 years are selected first.
Information for Tenants on AEP can be found here:
Information for Owners on AEP can be found here:
This information is also available in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Arabic on the HPD website linked here, Housing Quality Enforcement Programs: Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP)