Skoufis Introduces Legislation to Empower Cities to Crack Down on Negligent Landlords and Make Emergency Repairs
Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) has introduced a new bill, S8146, that would create a pilot program allowing municipalities to perform emergency code enforcement repairs necessitated by landlord negligence. Costs of these repairs would be fronted by New York State, then levied against the landlord as a lien on their property tax bill and recouped by the state. Unpaid housing code violation penalties, associated costs, and fines would also be recouped in this way.
“For cities struggling to keep up with bad-acting landlords and their negligence, this program would be a gamechanger,” said Senator Skoufis. “Too often, cities lack the resources to adequately stay on top of code violations, resulting in dangerous and potentially life-threatening building conditions for tenants and neighbors. A program that gives cities the authority and capital to spring into action when a negligent landlord isn’t keeping up their end of the bargain will keep residents safe and help to eliminate blight, without ensnaring responsive and well-intentioned landlords which often occurs with top-down policies.”
"Senator Skoufis' new legislation would give municipalities like ours another resource to make our communities safer." said City of Newburgh Code Compliance Supervisor Charlotte Mountain. "This bill offers a solution for both tenants and landlords and reduces strain on the city's budget."
A similar program currently exists in New York City under its Housing Preservation and Development's Alternative Enforcement Program. Senator Skoufis’ legislation currently sits in the Finance Committee.