For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Contact: Matthew Creegan, 212-863-7879


HPD Commissioner and Councilmember Rivera Color with Kids to Reach Home Safety

New York City Council Member Rivera and HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer distribute Coloring Books to help teach children and their families home safety tips


NEW YORK, NY – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer joined Councilmember Carlina Rivera to announce the release of “Keeping Your Home Safe with Mickey and Nemo,” an HPD coloring book for children to help educate families on how to keep their homes safe, fun and healthy. The book was released at the Escuela Hispana Montessori Early Learn Center to a group of New York City Universal Pre-Kindergarten students.

“It’s never too early to learn how to keep your home safe. We hope our coloring books will spark important conversations among families about how to make sure they live in healthy and secure environments, and let them know that HPD is here to help,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank Councilmember Rivera, the hardworking team in HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, and the dedicated educators at Escuela Hispana for partnering with us to educate our city’s youngest residents.”

“When it comes to teaching our children, education opportunities should be evident everywhere - in the classroom, in their neighborhoods and at home. What's also important is that we try to use engaging tools for many of our most serious issues. These coloring books will help children identify and understand common household safety threats and play an important part in early childhood development,” said New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “I commend the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for their creative and inventive thinking, and look forward to its expansion to reach as many kids as possible.”

The coloring books will be available at HPD community events and are available for download

The coloring book follows Mickey and Nemo, HPD’s two bed bug detecting beagles, as they join an inspector to educate residents on how to best live safely in their homes. The book covers various topics including fire safety, peeling paint, and heat and hot water requirements.

“Keeping Your Home Safe with Mickey and Nemo” shows kids the importance of regularly testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, how to address peeling paint in the home, and minimum temperatures for heat and hot water during New York City’s “heat season,” From October through May.

The book also explains to readers the importance of reporting housing issues to landlords, and if they are not responsive or the problem still isn’t fixed, to call 311. Tenants can also report housing issues by visiting 311 online at, or use the app 311Mobile (on Android and iOS devices) to file a complaint. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf TDD at (212) 504-4115.

HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services works closely with other HPD divisions and outside community partners to identify buildings in distress, assess and develop appropriate strategies to address those properties, and work closely with responsible owners to develop a plan to improve conditions and return buildings to firm financial footing and physical health. HPD uses enforcement tools within the Division of Code Enforcement, Housing Litigation Division, Emergency Repair Program, the Division of Neighborhood Preservation and the Division of Special Enforcement to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.


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 Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026. For full details visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.