Ten councilmembers including Kristin Richardson Jordan introduce bill to address heat and hot water complaints

Photo credit: KM 

New York City Council Member Pierina Sanchez has introduced legislation alongside Council Members Carmen De La Rosa, Kristin Richardson Jordan, Rita Joseph, Althea Stevens, Rafael Salamanca, Eric Dinowitz, Shaun Abreu, Diana Ayala and Oswald Feliz, increasing reinspection fees from $200 to $500 and up to $1000 per inspection. Together, the Council Members represent 49% of all heat and hot water complaints in the City.

This bill, Intro 204, would raise the fees for certain complaint-based housing re-inspections from $200 to $500, where multiple heat and hot water or immediately hazardous violations have been issued. The bill would also provide the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development the authority to raise the fees to a maximum of $1,000 per inspection within a twelve-month period.

Together, the sponsors of Int 204 accounted for 49% of all heat and hot water complaints, totaling 198,720 citywide from April 2020 to now.

“For months, constituents have been complaining of lack of hot water and heat. With over 20,000 calls to 311 from my district alone, we can directly see how people are left to suffer longer in Black and Brown communities. The egregious actions of these landlords are unsafe and discriminatory. Access to heat and hot water is necessary at all times, and even more so during freezing winter months during a pandemic. When landlords refuse repairs, or approve shoddy work that doesn’t provide a permanent solution, it is nothing short of a health and safety issue. Hot water is essential to sanitation. When people struggle to make their own means of heating their homes, it creates fire hazards. It’s time for landlords to pay up for their callousness to the people of this city,” said Council Member Kirstin Richardson Jordan

The introduction of Intro 204 will be followed by an oversight hearing examining code enforcement procedures, addressing HPD’s fine and fee collection processes.