From the Times Ledger:
A northeast Queens lawmaker has made a list of derelict or vacant properties around the area that he wants to clean up, including a Flushing home owned by Bank of America that was being used as an illegal apartment. But there is only so much he can do to stop the problems.
After civic organizations, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) helped coerce a negligent property owner in Whitestone to clean up a site along Francis Lewis Boulevard, Avella’s office began compiling a list of other abandoned properties that need to be addressed.
He created a task force in conjunction with civics in the area and came up with an initial roster of 21 properties that are either uninhabited or in various degrees of disrepair.
A TimesLedger Newspapers analysis of the properties found that some have been shut down for dangerous conditions or housing illegal apartments.
A property owned by Bank of America, at 43-19 164th St. in Flushing, was issued an order to vacate by the city Department of Buildings after inspectors found the two-family dwelling was being used as a single-room occupancy facility that housed three or four families, according to DOB documents.
Three single-room occupancy rooms with locks on their doors were found by inspectors, and in a separate complaint an illegal apartment was also found in the basement. On Feb. 12, Bank of America was set to appear in a city Environmental Control Board Court, which addresses hazardous building conditions separate from the state Unified Court System, but the lender did not show up and currently owes a total of $65,000 in outstanding violations, according to the DOB database.
Another property on the list is owned by Chuk Sau Tsnag. It is a construction site that currently has a stop-work order placed on it that has generated 33 complaints since 2007. Tsnag racked up $20,000 in fines from the city for violations like not securing the site with a proper fence.