City Council Puts Slumlords on Notice, Passes 18 Tenant Protection Bills in a Day

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 at 5:17 am by

Bathroom in Mahfar’s 102 Norfolk St., July 2014

Yesterday, the city took another big step towards enforcing landlord accountability.  City Council passed a whopping 18 bills that provide a framework for greater protections for tenants against harassment and unsafe living conditions.

Among the bills is Councilmember Helen Rosenthal’s Intro. 1523, which would create an Office of the Tenant Advocate within the DOB. It would be responsible for monitoring Tenant Protection Plans as well as fielding complaints and questions from tenants about construction issues. (Big real estate probably isn’t happy about this.)

Other approved bills are aimed specifically at ending construction as a form of harassment. Employing such tactics is a growing problem, particularly here on the Lower East Side.

Rosethal reassured, “While many at DOB do important work on behalf of tenants, the bureaucracy just isn’t in place to make tenants’ voices heard. This bill will change that, giving tenants a dedicated watchdog and workhorse on their behalf…”

Out of the 18 bills, the three written by Council Member Rosenthal include:

  • Intro. 1523, which would create an Office of the Tenant Advocate within the Department of Buildings.
  • Intro. 944, a part of the Stand for Tenant Safety package, which would impose additional penalties for performing construction work without a permit and increase oversight for buildings where such work has been performed.
  • Intro. 347, which would allow Housing Court judges to award damages to tenants who bring successful harassment claims against their landlord.

Correction: Proper names mistakenly mentioned in a previous version of this article have been removed.

Share

Streets

Recent Stories

Report: Tenement Museum Workers Unionize

The front-facing staff of the Tenement Museum, after many failed attempts throughout the years, have finally agreed to unionize. A vote was held last week in which all education, retail, and visitor services employees mobilized to join Local 2110 UAW (United Auto Workers). The measure passed by a 96% margin. The vote was spurred by […]

Sunshine Cinema Signage Carted Away

Sunshine, sunset, swiftly goes the demolition. Indeed, no sooner did the sidewalk bridge appear at 141 East Houston Street than workers deposed the Sunshine Cinema neon lettering. We’re told that a van carted the signage away yesterday. Co-owner-developer East End Capital did not return our request about the fate of the letters. Meanwhile, the demolition […]

New Essex Street Market Sets Opening Date at Essex Crossing [Updated]

Seventy-nine is a momentous age for the Essex Street Market. Now, more than five years in the making, the Lower East Side institution opened by Mayor LaGuardia in 1940 is finally ready to cross Delancey. The date for its opening at Essex Crossing has been set. Mark the calendar for Monday morning, May 13. In […]

Ready to Win the Weekend? [SPONSOR]

“Let’s meet for drinks” is starting to get lamer than Netflix-and-chill. Amp up your culture factor, impress your date, and maybe even take home great new art at Superfine! Art Fair, opening May 1 with a champagne washed inaugural party in SoHo. Explore three rooms chock full of awesome art by 80+ top-tier emerging artists. […]

He Said, She Said: A Two-City Concert Review of KOLARS

KOLARS is a Los Angeles-based rock duo, formerly of folk outfit He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, and the latest in our “He Said/She Said” music series. They’ve been relentlessly on tour for the past three years (over 400 shows since 2016), and while Passover prevented us from getting to the New York gig, we […]