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Fresh off proposing yesterday that private employers be required to provide their workers with 10 days of paid vacation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set his sights on a new target: property owners.
During his State of the City Address, delivered Thursday, de Blasio warned that the city will take action against landlord abuse, even if that means seizing private property.
Landlord - Tenant - Home - Unlivable - Team
"When a landlord tries to push out a tenant by making their home unlivable, a team of inspectors and law enforcement agents will be on the ground in time to stop it," the mayor said. If fines and penalties don't do the trick, then "we will seize their buildings, and we will put them in the hands of a community nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve," he added.
But surely city officials won't have the time to find and punish each one of the city's bad landlords, right? Wrong. That's because de Blasio is creating a new agency devoted solely to landlord abuse: the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants.
City - Landlords - Sheriff - Blasio - Agency
"The city's worst landlords will have a new sheriff to fear," de Blasio said, calling the new agency (which he created on the spot by signing an executive order) a "new arm of city government that will root out the worst landlord abuse."
As the New York Daily News notes, the city already has an Office of Tenant Advocate. However, it has not yet been funded, according to the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council.
Office - Tenants - De - Blasio - Executive
So what will the Office to Protect Tenants do? De Blasio didn't really explain, though his executive order says it will serve as a "central resource for tenants, social service agencies, advocacy organizations, legal services providers, landlords and management companies of affordable housing, and others on tenant issues," including "tenant harassment."
According to his...
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