FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 10, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682
ENFORCEMENT UPDATE: MORE THAN HALF OF BUILDINGS ON THE 2017 AEP LIST HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE PROGRAM
HPD discharged 138 buildings from the program -- the largest number of buildings discharged in an initial four month period
HPD took immediate and aggressive actions against bad landlords, performing roof to cellar inspections, imposing fees, and issuing AEP Orders to Correct for 14 distressed buildings.
Additional funding from the Mayor and City Council resulted in the highest number of units targeted in AEP Round 10
New York, NY – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announces an update on the progress made to improve conditions at the buildings included on the tenth annual Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) list. Since the 2017 AEP list was released in February, 138 buildings have improved conditions and met the criteria for discharge from the program. The AEP list identifies 250 distressed multifamily residential buildings with HPD violations and allows for enhanced enforcement, which includes roof to cellar inspections, fees, and an AEP Order to Correct the underlying conditions of the HPD violations. These enhanced enforcement tools are used to improve living conditions for each building’s residents.
“Through the Alternative Enforcement Program, we are improving the City’s most distressed buildings so that residents have the safe, quality housing that they need and deserve,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “The progress made to date under the AEP program is a tribute to the dedicated team in HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services and our many elected officials and community partners who help us protect New York City’s tenants.”
The New York City Council passed legislation to establish 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. The allowance for additional units also led to the highest number of units ever targeted in the program in the 2017 10th round.
“AEP is an important tool in the HPD toolbox that allows them to target the very worst buildings in the city,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Since the inception of this program, which was spearheaded by the Council, the removal of buildings from the AEP list clearly shows that this program is successful. The Council has always been committed to protecting tenants and making sure they have a right to a home where they most basic needs are met. I want to thank HPD and Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for their work so that New York City residents live in safe housing conditions.”
Letters were mailed to the owners of the remaining buildings in the 10th round notifying them of their failure to be discharged from the AEP. HPD is in the process of performing roof to cellar inspections and issuing AEP Orders to Correct for all buildings that failed to get discharged during the initial four month period. HPD will monitor landlord compliance with the AEP Order to Correct. In cases where there is no compliance with the AEP Order to Correct, HPD may pursue litigation or hire a contractor to perform the necessary work. The landlord would then be billed, through the Department of Finance, for the cost of the repair. If the bill is not paid, it will become a lien against the property. The program’s ultimate aim is improving conditions for tenants and avoiding the need for HPD to correct reoccurring problems.
The 250 buildings announced in Round 10 carried a total of 32,606 violations. Over 25,691 violations have been removed from 234 AEP Round 10 buildings since February when the list was announced. This includes 4,710 A-class, 16,538 B-class, and 4,443 C-class violations. Violations classified as non-hazardous, or ‘A-class’, include conditions such as minor leaks, chipping or peeling paint when no children under the age of six live in the home, or lack of signs designating floor numbers. Violations classified as hazardous, or ‘B-class’, include conditions such as public area doors that are not self-closing, inadequate lighting, or the presence of vermin. Immediately hazardous , or ‘C-class’, violations include conditions such as inadequate fire exits, evidence of rodents, lead-based paint, and the lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas.
A total of 1,574 buildings, with a combined total of 21,513 apartments, have been discharged from the program to date.
“Every New Yorker deserves to live in safe and adequate housing, and to be protected from the negligence of bad landlords,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (NY-14). “HPD’s enforcement program for buildings with maintenance code violations is put in place to do just that. I applaud the agency for taking swift action to improve conditions for countless residents and the City for providing the resources necessary to ensure we can help as many tenants as possible.”
“I commend Mayor de Blasio for today’s announcement on the success of his initiatives to improve housing conditions for thousands of residents throughout the Bronx,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “Making these critical repairs to improve the living conditions of previously distressed buildings is essential to our work to ensure safe, affordable and quality housing that New York residents want and deserve."
“The Alternative Enforcement Program helps accomplish the important goal of providing safe, livable and affordable housing for New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly's Housing Committee. “I commend Commissioner Torres-Springer and the city administration for their diligence in moving this initiative forward with such success and making it possible for thousands of families to feel comfortable and secure in their homes.”
“I am heartened to see this progress towards safe and decent housing for thousands of New Yorkers, and HPD deserves great recognition for their efforts,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx). “Unfortunately, the increasing prevalence of preferential rents has caused more and more tenants to suffer in deplorable conditions because they are afraid of massive rent increases if they ask for basic maintenance. New York City will continue to rely on the Alternative Enforcement Program to prevent unscrupulous landlords from taking advantage of vulnerable New Yorkers until we fix our broken rent laws.”
“I hope this valuable and much needed program continues to expand, holding slumlords accountable for their actions - and inaction - that leaves tenants in sub-standard and often dangerous conditions. I stand ready to support it in any way on behalf of my constituents, said Assembly Member Luis R. Sepúlveda (D-Bronx).
Assembly Member Michael A. Blake (D-Bronx) said “Bronxites and all New Yorkers not only deserve to live in safe, quality housing, they have a right to do so affordably and without injustice. Since the inception of the AEP Program in 2007, thousands of code violations and compliance issue have been addressed to help the people. In this year’s AEP Round 10, the largest numbers of buildings were discharged and the largest number of infractions corrected to date. The AEP Program and NYC HPD provide powerful enforcement tools to bring buildings up to code and provide residents the quality of life we all deserve. This year marks a historic low of type A, B and C violations city wide, with many of these corrections occurring in The Bronx. Together, the AEP Program, NYC HPD and our local and state elected officials are #BuildingABetterBronx.”
“Every New Yorker deserves safe, stable, and high quality housing,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “It's unfair and unacceptable for landlords to fail to fix building code violations and allow their properties to fall into disrepair. I'm thankful to HPD Commissioner Maria Springer-Torres and her team for spearheading the Alternative Enforcement Program and assisting landlords in my district, and all over New York, improve the quality and safety of their buildings.”
“The Alternative Enforcement Program is one of New York City's most effective tools for forcing negligent landlords to provide safe and clean homes. My Council District has historically had the highest number of buildings in AEP due to its distressed housing stock; I have seen AEP work to turn around dilapidated buildings,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres. “HPD has grown even more effective in forcing landlords to comply with AEP, meaning less leaks, mold, and broken doors for residents in New York City.”
“In my district in the South Bronx, some of the biggest issues I’ve faced have been trying to hold bad landlords accountable on behalf of tenants who feel powerless,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “AEP provides us with the tools to get real results fast in the fight against bad landlords, and that’s a great thing.”
“The aggressive application of the Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) is a significant step toward holding bad landlords accountable, enhancing enforcement capabilities, and improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. This immediate action taken by HPD’s Enforcement and Neighborhood Services will bring much-needed relief to families living in distressed multifamily residential buildings,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.
“The Alternative Enforcement Program is crucial in helping families living in horrific conditions,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has taken important steps to identify buildings with dangerous conditions and intervene to perform necessary repairs. Too many families in New York City are living with neglectful landlords who won't perform crucial maintenance and it affects tenants' quality of life. With AEP, more families can stay in their homes without sacrificing their health.”
AEP Selection Criteria (Round 10):
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:
Information for Owners on AEP can be found here: FAQs for Building Owners on the Alternative Enforcement Program
Information for Tenants on AEP can be found here: FAQs for Tenants on the Alternative Enforcement Program
The Round 10 list, all previous lists, and the above linked documents can be found in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Arabic on the HPD website linked here, Housing Quality Enforcement Programs: Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP)
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.