Huh? Housing advocacy group makes worst landlords list

Urban Homesteading Assistance Board co-owns Hamilton Heights building with 397 violations

From left: Andrew Reicher, 640 Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights and Letitia James
From left: Andrew Reicher, 640 Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights and Letitia James

Housing advocacy group the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board made the annual list of the city’s 100 worst landlords released by Public Advocate Letitia James.

The nonprofit group co-owns a 134-unit apartment building at 640 Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights that has been hit with 397 open housing code violations, DNAinfo reported. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued violations for lead paint, bars illegally blocking a fire escape, broken wood floors and nonfunctional window guards. The board owns the building with nonprofit Settlement Housing Fund.

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The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board hosts protests targeting troublesome landlords. James attended one of the group’s rallies in the Bronx last year, just prior to serving as public advocate.

Andrew Reicher of UHAB said 640 Riverside Drive was among “HPD’s extremely distressed buildings” when the group bought it a decade ago. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer