From the NY Post:
Landlords who snatched up apartment buildings in good times may be ready to ditch them and leave thousands of tenants in the lurch.
The number of apartment buildings at risk of abandonment jumped by 44 percent from 1,003 in 2008 to 1,441 in fiscal year 2009, according to the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Residents of...crumbling buildings could suddenly be left without water and heat if landlords walk away and the city is stuck with the tab.
In Brooklyn alone last year, the Housing Department spent $4 million to repair deteriorating buildings with absentee landlords. The owners of those buildings are required to reimburse the city for the work, but that doesn't always happen.
Many of the buildings recently identified as at risk were bought at the peak of the real-estate boom.
The financial meltdown has left their owners saddled with debts that include tax liens and unpaid mortgages. They also can't afford basic building repairs that generally lead to scores of code violations.
Some 3,200 units of affordable housing are in buildings that have fallen into foreclosure, according to an analysis by the advocacy group Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. Another 11,100 are in serious danger of meeting the same fate, the group says.