Foreclosures cause rise in building violations for neighbors, too

February 02, 2012 09:30AM

Apartment buildings in foreclosure aren’t the only one’s that eventually suffer from building violations — their neighbors get hit hard, too.

According to a report to be released today by the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and Enterprise cited by the Wall Street Journal, buildings within 250 feet of a foreclosed property averaged a 14 percent increase in Class C violations, determined by the city’s Housing Preservation and Development Department.

The Journal pointed to the infamous Milbank Real Estate portfolio of 10 Bronx apartment buildings overrun with violations. The study found that violations also spiked in 16 surrounding apartment buildings that were not over-leveraged or in foreclosure.

While it’s difficult to prove causation, especially since most of the distressed buildings are located in poorer neighborhoods, the report shows that it’s not just single-family neighborhoods that are blighted by foreclosures.

“Buildings in severe physical distress, whether in foreclosure or not, can act as an undermining force in neighborhoods that have historically struggled to maintain their housing stock,” said a housing department spokesperson. [WSJ]