Mayor Announces Creation of Unit Targeting Maintenance Harassment

Mayor de Blasio recently announced the creation of a new Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit that will be dedicated to pursuing potential cases of maintenance harassment in multifamily residential buildings and connecting tenants to legal services resources, a complement to the city’s efforts against construction as harassment.

“This Administration has used every tool available to fight the affordability crisis in New York City. It is paying off – we have created more affordable housing than any other time in our City’s history,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will not grow complacent. My Administration is forging ahead with new tools like the Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit to help investigate harassment and hold bad landlords accountable. We have the backs of tenants as we continue to ensure that New York City is the fairest city in America.”

The newly established Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit will have 10 dedicated staff, including two attorneys to initiate litigation against unscrupulous owners and landlords. The new unit will use data analysis to identify potential buildings and portfolios where harassment is occurring; respond to emergency complaints; partner closely with the Department of Buildings and other agencies to address issues in buildings where maintenance as harassment has been identified; and connect tenants with legal services resources.

The new unit will enable HPD to increase the number of buildings with potential construction or maintenance harassment that HPD can inspect from 200 buildings annually to approximately 1,500 buildings. HPD will also seek civil penalties for harassment where warranted.