De Blasio wants city to give homeowners break with water bill appeals
The city's public advocate is introducing legislation Wednesday designed to prevent homeowners from becoming homeless because of a water bill error.
If passed, the law would stop the city from issuing late fees or liens on homes of New Yorkers who have overdue water bills if they are appealing them.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said his office has had several cases from homeowners who say they were overbilled and were forced to make tough decisions when the appeal dragged on.
"You will see people either losing their property or being force to say, 'OK. I'm going to pay a lot of money.' It feels like people have guns to their heads," he said.
A spokesman for the city's Department of Environmental Protection declined to comment about the bill, which has 10 co-sponsors from city councilmenbers.
He added the agency takes bill appeals seriously and they have been the lowest in five years.
Although De Blasio isn't a member of the City Council, the city charter allows him to draft and introduce legislation.