“Worst Landlords” list includes 33 HDFC co-ops

Program is meant to provide low-income residents with path to home ownership

Letitia James
Letitia James

In the latest kerfuffle around city Public Advocate Letitia James’ “Worst Landlords” list, more than 30 self-managed co-ops managed to get themselves on the list by reporting their own boards to the city.

Of the nearly 200 Manhattan buildings that feature on the list’s recently released 2015 edition, 33 properties are in the Housing Development Fund Corp.’s co-op program, which enables low-income residents to assume ownership of distressed properties from negligent landlords.

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Critics of the program – one of the only city initiatives providing low-income New Yorkers with a path to home ownership – claim residents don’t receive the requisite training and support to operate their buildings efficiently, according to DNAinfo.

“The fact that [these buildings] are calling 311 on themselves is appalling because at the end of the day these co-ops are supposed to sustain themselves,” housing advocate Elsia Vasquez said. “But instead they are giving themselves all of these violations.”

Controversy around the “Worst Landlords” list – first instituted by then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio – is not new, with this year’s list mistakenly including landlord and MNS Real Estate partner David Behin for the second time in two years. [DNAinfo]Rey Mashayekhi