HPD lists NYC’s most distressed buildings

February 04, 2011 11:26AM

New York housing officials have identified 200 buildings they say are the most poorly maintained in the city, racking up more than 20,000 hazardous violations for issues including mold, vermin and heating, the Wall Street Journal reported. Brooklyn had the highest total, with 99 buildings, while the Bronx had 70 and Manhattan only had 23. “For the families who call these terrible 200 buildings home, the conditions pose a real threat to health and safety — not only to the tenants, but to the neighborhood as a whole,” Rafael Cestero, commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said in a statement. While a handful of landlords had more than one building on the list, one of the highest totals was represented by a portfolio of dilapidated Bronx buildings formerly owned by private equity firm Milbank Real Estate, which accounted for six of the buildings on the list. This is the fourth time that the department has compiled such a list, as part of its Alternative Enforcement Program, to pressure owners of the city’s distressed buildings to comply with the law. Housing advocates say the program is a good first step, but it remains unclear how effective it has been. Each year the list adds 200 new buildings, and HPD says that 196 of 600 offenders over the first three years of the program have made the necessary improvements to be removed. [WSJ]