Though the Center for Disease Control is urging the public to wash their hands, some renters may not be able to.
An analysis of hot water violations issued in New York City so far in 2020 shows that more than two thousand violations issued by the department of housing and preservation for lack of hot water remain open.
An open violation doesn’t necessarily mean a problem is unresolved, explained Matthew Creegan, spokesman for New York City’s Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). But it does mean that a violation was issued, and the owner has not yet certified that they have corrected it. The agency treats hot water violations as an emergency, and if the owner fails to make a repair, HPD says it will make emergency repairs and bill the landlord.
“Whether or not there’s a virus, [hot water] is an essential service,” Creegan said. “It’s just as bad to not have heat and hot water whether it’s the coronavirus or the flu. People need hot water and heat all year round, not just now.”
As of late Thursday afternoon, there were 95 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City, according to officials.
The agency said that it has been responding to complaints about heat and hot water, which frequently come in together, within two days, on average. According to HPD, landlords are mandated to provide hot water all year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This analysis discounted violations that were issued before 2020 (even if they remain unresolved, as many do) and violations for hot water that was too hot — a complaint that is not uncommon.
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The neighborhoods with the most open hot water violations are majority black and largely in Brooklyn, according to The Real Deal’s analysis: Crown Heights North, has the highest number of open violations with 85; Flatbush follows with 82; Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate has 59; and Stuyvesant Heights has 52. Williamsbridge-Olinville, in the East Bronx, has 58 open hot water violations.
Does your apartment not have hot water? Write to reporter Georgia Kromrei at [email protected]