From the NY Post:
This Bronx apartment building, where city housing violations have increased from 82 to nearly 600 in 16 months, is among thousands of rental properties from Los Angeles to Harlem showing a creeping decay as housing values collapse and funds for repairs dry up.
As landlords find themselves owing more than their properties are worth, some have simply walked away, leaving garbage to pile up. Others have disappeared into bankruptcy, with unpaid utility bills. Some have tried to reduce their losses by neglecting basic maintenance.
"There are 100,000 apartments teetering on the edge" in New York City alone, said Harold Shultz, senior fellow at the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. "And depending upon the way various winds blow, they could fall over."
Earlier this month, a Congressional report warned that the deterioration of these properties could drag down the value of the surrounding neighborhoods. In New York, where these troubled investments centered on gentrifying areas of the Bronx and Harlem, advocates worry the problems could deliver lasting blows to neighborhoods that have long struggled.
Of New York City's 1 million rent-stabilized apartments, more than one-tenth are facing severe financial distress, says Rafael Cestero, commissioner of the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Of those, more than one-quarter have deteriorated visibly since the beginning of the downturn.