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NYCHA named worst landlord on Letitia James' annual watchlist

This is the first time the public housing authority has been put on the Worst Landlords Watchlist.

NYCHA was named the worst landlord in the

NYCHA was named the worst landlord in the city by Public Advocate Letitia James on Wednesday. Above, people pass by the Bernard Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side Friday on Dec. 14. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

For the first time, the city’s public housing authority topped the annual list of the worst landlords in New York City. 

The 2018 NYC Landlord Watchlist list was released by outgoing Public Advocate Letitia James on Wednesday. The list, which was started in 2010 by Mayor Bill de Blasio when he was public advocate, has traditionally only included private landlords.

“The Worst Landlords Watchlist has been an invaluable tool to hold bad landlords accountable and improve living conditions for countless New Yorkers,” James said in a statement. “But for too long, the most glaring example of this ill treatment has been at the hands of the City itself — and this year, we are finally putting NYCHA on notice.”

NYCHA, which has more than 400,000 tenants in 177,000 apartments across the city, is facing a possible federal takeover and has come under scrutiny for misleading the public about lead paint inspections and failing to provide heat to all residents.

The housing authority had more than 240,000 open work orders at the end of October 2018, up from 148,000 the year before, said James, who will be the next state attorney general. More than $25 billion is needed to make repairs in the next year, she said. 

“The problems at NYCHA, brought on by decades of disinvestment and mismanagement, are clear, as is the need for all government partners to help fix and preserve public housing,” NYCHA spokeswoman Jasmine Blake said. 

Blake noted that the authority recently announced its NYCHA 2.0 plan to address the $25 billion in repairs.

The watchlist also includes the 100 worst private landlords and the 10 worst buildings in each borough. Eric Silverstein, who has four buildings with more than 1,400 violations, was named the worst private landlord. 

The landlord who was named the worst last year, Jonathan Cohen/Silvershore Properties, was not on the list this year, James said.


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