Today, the NYC council will vote to pass a bill, sponsored by Councilmember Gail Brewer, that will force city slumlords to abandon quick fixes in favor of high quality, lasting repairs. The bill is based on the city’s relatively successful AEP program, which gives the city the power to repair problems themselves as well as collect both the costs and fees of the service.
The bill is the result of hard work and cooperation between the New York City Council and the housing advocacy community, including UHAB, Tenants and Neighbors, Legal Services and ANHD.
This morning, Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmembers Gail Brewer, David Greenfield, and Robert Jackson expressed their support for this bill in a press conference at City Hall. In arguing for the bill’s passage, she told the story of Kymm Moore, a tenant that formerly lived at 836 Faile Street — a building UHAB has been organizing for over a year. 836 Faile Street was in foreclosure for several years when private equity company Stabilis Capital Management purchased the mortgage, presumably hoping to make a quick buck.
While living at 836 Faile St., Kymm suffered from recurring leaks and mold. Because of the recurring nature of these problems, the City Council believes that passing this bill will successfully eradicate these issues. Both Speaker Quinn and Councilmember Brewer noted that the program will lessen the cost of housing code violations for New York City tax payers, by reducing costly inspections and providing the City with stronger tools to collect fees.
Last month, the New York Daily News visited tenants at 1507 St. Johns Place and spoke with them about their views on the measure. While tenants are hopeful that the bill will improve the quality of repairs, 1507 St. Johns Place, like 836 Faile St., is in foreclosure. The bill does not address how it will hold non-owner receivers responsible for the same repairs as landlords. In New York City, multifamily buildings continue to face foreclosure in startlingly high numbers, and the overloaded Supreme Court means many buildings stay in foreclosure for several years. It is necessary that the City of New York hold receivers and banks responsible for housing conditions as well as landlords.
Stay tuned as more articles come out about this exciting measure today! We’ll be posting them here.
“City Council to Push Owners for Core Repairs,” Wall Street Journal
“NYC Landlords Must Fix Problems Under New Law” The Epoch Times