From the Daily News:
Each year, city taxpayers pay again and again for emergency repairs on slumlord buildings because owners refuse to fix underlying problems.
Mold is painted over, or crumbling plaster is patched up, while the busted water pipe behind the wall that's causing the problem remains just that - busted.
Last year the city spent $26.3 million on Band-aid jobs like this, with inspectors often returning repeatedly to the same building to issue the same violations, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
A City Council hearing Thursday took up a proposed new law that rejects the quick fix and holds landlords accountable for repairing underlying conditions.
The bill’s sponsor, Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) said the quick fix frustrates tenants and the city.
Tired of slapping the same buildings with the same citations, HPD Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaciuolo pressed for the bill’s passage at a hearing Thursday.
“Buildings where the symptom is treated without treating the cause typically have systemic leaks or water penetration,” he said. “The same conditions occur and reoccur in multiple apartments.”
HPD wants to target buildings with repeat water leaks, ferret out underlying causes, then require landlords to fix the cause or face a $1,000 per unit and $5,000 per building fine.
Landlords must sign affidavits swearing the problem is resolved and face criminal charges if they lie.