Residential buildings in severe distress, or at risk of becoming distressed, may be subject to one or more of the following Housing Quality Enforcement Programs.
Attorneys bring cases in Housing Court to enforce compliance with the housing quality standards contained in the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law and the New York City Housing Maintenance Code. HPD's Housing Litigation Division (HLD) may seek correction of conditions, civil penalties, the appointment of a 7A administrator, or access warrants. In addition, HLD may appear in tenant-initiated proceedings if the tenant seeks repairs, claims harassment, or seeks the appointment of a 7A Administrator. HLD also accepts and reviews applications for Certifications of No Harassment, which are required to alter or demolish any single room occupancy building citywide and multiple dwellings in specially designated zoning districts in the City.
Through the 7A Program, administrators are appointed by the Court (pursuant to New York State Law) to operate privately owned buildings that have been abandoned by their owners, resulting in conditions that are dangerous to the tenants' life, health and safety. The administrators act under Court Order to collect rents and use the money to provide essential services to the tenants and make necessary repairs. Experienced housing organizations, rather than individuals, are selected to provide 7A management services.
In some 7A buildings, HPD offers a limited amount of 7A Financial Assistance (7AFA) to repair or replace major systems or make other repairs. HPD monitors the activities of 7A administrators and administers the 7AFA loan program.
When landlords do not correct emergency violations, HPD may take action to correct the action to correct the condition at the owner's expense. The City is subject to laws governing procurement, contracting, and wages that may make such work significantly more expensive than the price the owner could obtain themselves. The City will bill the property owner through the Department of Finance for the cost of the emergency repair plus related fees and/or for the cost of sending a contractor to attempt to make repairs. If the owner fails to pay, the City will file a tax lien against the property. The tax lien will bear interest and may be sold and/or foreclosed to collect the amount owed.
On or about January 31st of each year, HPD designates 250 severely distressed multiple dwellings for participation in the Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP). Selection criteria include the number of class "B" hazardous and class "C" immediately hazardous housing maintenance code violations and the dollar value of emergency repair charges incurred as a result of the work performed by HPD. Failure to correct the qualifying conditions may result in emergency repair charges, liens, and significant fees.
The Proactive Preservation Initiative is the City's comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing deteriorating physical conditions in multifamily buildings across New York City before they endanger the health and safety of residents and threaten the quality of the surrounding neighborhood. Proactive Preservative uses a network of information sources to preemptively identify at-risk buildings and, through a variety of intervention strategies and programs, provides the tools or incentives to ensure that owners are both accountable and equipped to maintain their buildings in safe condition. HPD evaluates approximately 500 buildings annually through Proactive Preservation.
The Underlying Conditions Program allows HPD to issue an administrative order to residential building owners to correct underlying conditions that have caused, or are causing, a violation of the Housing Maintenance Code. HPD selects approximately 50 buildings for participation in the program each year based on the number of apartments affected and the number and severity of the violations.