Alternative Enforcement Program
The Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) is a New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) enforcement program for apartment buildings that have many housing maintenance code violations. The goal of the program is to improve housing conditions by performing frequent inspections to monitor correction of violations, and issue Orders to Correct if the owner fails to act. The program also allows HPD to make repairs and replace building systems if necessary.
Selection and Notification
Selection criteria for AEP 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. Only multiple dwellings are selected.
On or about January 31st of each year, HPD designates severely distressed multiple dwellings for participation in AEP. Owners and managers of buildings selected for AEP are notified and informed on how to be discharged from the program.
Owners are required to notify tenants by posting a sign, within 15 days of the notice on the building's main entrance door, or another conspicuous location in a common area, stating in English and Spanish:
- The building has been selected for AEP
- Tenants can call 311 or AEP at 212-863-8262 for complaints about the conditions in their units or common areas
- The owner's name, phone number, and address, and the financial institution that holds the mortgage on the property, if any
Failure to do so can result in a $250 civil penalty. HPD will also post a notice to all tenants.
In order for a building to be discharged from AEP, an owner must, within the first four months of receiving the notification:
- Correct, using safe work practices:
- All heat and hot water violations
- All class "C" violations and at least 80% of class "B" mold violations
- At least 80% of pest violations
- At least 80% of all other class "B" and "C" violations
- System replacements, such as roof or heating plant
- Pay all outstanding fees and charges, including liens, complaint inspections, and work performed by HPD, or enter into an agreement with the Department of Finance (DOF) to pay such charges
- Submit a current, valid property registration statement
The building can also get discharged from AEP if it has been vacant for at least one year, except for any building that contains six or more units and is the subject of a Vacate Order, or if the city transfers the building to a third party because the owner failed to pay property taxes.
Lack of funds does not warrant discharge from the program. HPD has programs that offer eligible owners low-interest loans for moderate to major renovations of vacant or occupied smaller buildings. Call the Division of Preservation Finance at 212-863-8960 to learn more.
Order to Correct
If the owner does not correct the qualifying conditions within the first four months, HPD will issue an AEP Order to Correct that lists the underlying conditions in need of fixing. The AEP Order to Correct is mailed to the owner, posted at the building, and filed with the County Clerk. If the owner fails to comply, HPD may hire a contractor to make the repairs at the owner's expense. An owner's failure to pay the bill may result in a tax lien being placed against the property. HPD may initiate legal action against in owner in Housing Court. A 7A Administrator can be appointed to take control of the building to collect rent and make the necessary repairs.
Buildings not discharged within the first four months of the initial notice are subject to fees:
- $500 per dwelling unit every six months, beginning on the date of the building wide inspection, with a maximum total fee of $1,000 per dwelling unit during participation in AEP
- $200 for any complaint inspection performed in the subject property that results in the issuance of a class "B" (hazardous) or "C" (immediately hazardous) violation
- $100 for each re-inspection pursuant to a certification of correction of violation(s) submitted to HPD where HPD finds one or more violations have not been corrected
Failure to pay these fees may result in filing of a tax lien or liens against the property.
Owners of multiple dwellings can avoid participation in AEP by properly maintaining their building, submitting a current and valid property registration to HPD, and clearing HPD violations in a timely fashion. In order to have overdue corrected violations removed from HPD records, you must either request an inspection or request that your overdue violations be reissued in order to certify their correction online.
Information for Tenants
Housing maintenance issues should first be reported to the owner. If the owner does not make necessary repairs, you should report the issue to 311. If you are concerned about work being performed without the proper permits, call 311. If you have concerns about the quality of repairs, notify HPD.
Tenants must give apartment access to owners to perform repairs and inspections requested in a reasonable and timely manner. HPD will post a notice in the building if system replacement work will be performed. If apartment access is needed for any repairs, HPD will contact the tenant.
If someone offers you money to leave your apartment, consult with an attorney. You may qualify for free legal assistance. Contact Legal Aid Society at 212-577-3300 and Legal Services NYC at 646-442-3600.
Harassment by an owner is illegal. Owners may not consistently withhold services or persist in physical or psychological intimidation. If you believe you are being harassed, find out more about harassment
For a dataset that includes all buildings selected for participation in the AEP and the current status of the building in the program, see our AEP data on the NYC Open Data Portal.
List of Buildings Identified (By Fiscal Year):
Alternative Enforcement Program City Council Reports
HPD is required by law to submit and post an annual summary report of all AEP buildings:
HPD is also required to post summary reports at regular intervals:
Contact the AEP Office at 212-863-8262.