HPD Steps Up Enforcement of Open Violations in 250 Buildings
HPD's Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) is a program for apartment buildings that have many Housing Maintenance Code violations. The goal of the program is to improve housing conditions by performing frequent inspections to monitor correction of violations, and issue Orders to Correct if the owner fails to act. The program also allows HPD to make repairs and replace building systems if necessary.
The program was established in 2007 with the New York City Safe Housing Law (Local Law No. 29 of 2007). This law called 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. This is the 15th year of the program and HPD recently announced the 250 buildings to be placed in the program. The list of buildings identified for Fiscal Year 2022 can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/services/list-of-buildings-2022.pdf.
The 250 buildings added this year to the AEP have nearly 40,000 open violations among them, including 9,442 immediately hazardous violations; 21,821 hazardous violations; and 8,327 non-hazardous violations. The 250 buildings are spread across most of the city, with 43 buildings in Manhattan (1,059 homes); 72 buildings in the Bronx (1,977 homes); 119 buildings in Brooklyn (1,837 homes); and 16 buildings in Queens (231 homes) being added to the program.
Violations that need to be repaired are divided into three categories:
- Immediately hazardous (Class C), including mold, evidence of rodents, lack of heat, hot water, or electricity, and lead-based paint;
- Hazardous (Class B), including conditions like leaks or holes in plaster or Sheetrock; and
- Non-hazardous (Class A).
To be discharged from this enhanced enforcement program, owners have four months resolve most violations, including all heat and hot water violations, 80 percent of pest and hazardous mold violations, and 100 percent of all hazardous and immediately hazardous violations.
Failure to rectify the violations within the four-month period will subject the owner to significant fees. In addition, HPD may facilitate emergency repairs at the owner’s expense if the corrections aren’t made in a timely manner. The repair bills are transferred to the Department of Finance and a tax lien may be placed against the property. HPD can also petition the Housing Court to appoint a 7A Administrator to take control of the building to make the necessary repairs and collect rent.