FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 22, 2016
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, firstname.lastname@example.org
BRONX LANDLORD ARTHUR GIBBONS FOUND IN CIVIL CONTEMPT SENT TO JAIL
Gibbons sentenced to 60 days in civil jail, and must comply with NYC Housing Court order to pay $96,525 to in civil penalties
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio, and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been announced the arrest and imprisonment of Arthur Gibbons, 76, the owner of 156 East 178th Street in the Bronx. The 36-unit residential building had a total of 377 violations of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code and New York State Multiple Dwelling Law which HPD enforces. After lengthy agency involvement and housing court orders, Gibbons failed to make the necessary corrections allowing the building to fall into severe disrepair. Gibbons was taken into custody by the New York City Office of the Sheriff on last Thursday evening, after an arrest warrant was issued by New York City Housing Court Judge Laurie Marin.
“At the heart of our housing policy is the belief that every New Yorker deserves to feel safe and secure at home,” Mayor de Blasio said. “Unscrupulous landlords are on notice – if you break the law and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of your tenants, we will use every tool available to enforce the law and hold you accountable.”
“When you decide to become a residential building owner, you take on responsibility for the health and safety of your residents. There is no room for neglect. The City of New York will not hesitate to pursue appropriate actions against any building owner who refuses to behave responsibly,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.
156 East 178th Street was selected for HPD’s Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) in February 2015. HPD’s Housing Litigation Division filed a lawsuit against Gibbons in 2015 due to his failure to comply with an AEP Order to Correct and his failure to maintain the property. The owner agreed to correct the violations and to comply with the AEP Order to Correct at the time. The commitment was ultimately not honored and HPD sought a court finding of civil contempt, penalties, and a sentence of imprisonment.
After several court dates, continued inaction and failure to correct the conditions of the East 178th Street property, the Court issued an Order, Judgment and Warrant of Arrest against the building owners. The owners, Arthur Gibbons and Jolee Realty Company, were deemed in contempt and therefore liable for civil penalties in the amount of $96,525.00. Furthermore, Mr. Gibbons was sentenced to 60 days in civil jail.
The arrest took place on the evening of Thursday, August 18th. Gibbons was apprehended by the New York City Sheriff’s Office and is being held at Department of Corrections’ Manhattan Detention Complex.
About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):
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 via www.facebook.com/nychousing and @nychousing.