In the Public Interest: Housing Alarm

by Heather Haddon

Local residents live in apartments with some of the highest number of code violations in the city, according to a recent report. Community District 7 logged the ninth highest number of serious building violations (out of the city’s 51 total districts) in 2003, as documented by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a research group based at New York University.

District 7 did see a slight drop in the total number of violations counted between 2002 and 2003, but the total is still way above the city average. Serious maintenance deficiencies were found in over 8 percent of local units.

Gregory Jost of the University Neighborhood Housing Program, a local nonprofit, attributed these trends to the area’s rapidly aging housing stock. He also said that rising utility costs and building purchase prices prevent landlords from investing in their properties.

“Because purchase prices are so inflated, there is even more pressure on owners to squeeze services and not make repairs in Bronx buildings,” Jost said.