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Ask Curbed: What To Do About Harlem Crack House?

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The Bible tells us that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This gentleman certainly does not follow that advice, but we can't really blame him:

I'm wondering if you can provide some suggestions as to the course of action that can be taken against a building next door to me. I recently purchased a renovated 2 BR unit within a brownstone in E. Harlem. The neighborhood is definitely getting cleaned up as is evident with developers purchasing any real estate they can get their hands on in anticipation of the mayor's upcoming revitalization efforts. The brownstone next door to me is abandoned (and has been for quite some time) and as a result, many squatters have taken refuge in the building. Sadly many of these squatters are using the building as a haven for drug use and subsequently there have been some arrests made by the NYPD to the trespassers. Upon searching the records at the Dept. of Buildings website, it appears as though this building has had several violations over the last few years (8 to be exact). The building has been boarded up however there is a window entryway on the second level that people have been accessing via our front stairway (by scaling the windowsills). Along with this there is a large amount of trash littered in the front terrace comprised of crack vials, human waste and just general garbage. At nighttime the rats come out and scurry all over the property and our adjacent stairway. The problem with the property is that it was initially established for charitable purposes and served that purpose till it was vacated in the late 90's. The owner has declined sale of the property to any developers and until recently has enjoyed his tax exempt status. It's clearly evident that he has no intention of selling the property till the area is completely revitalized, however his building is contributing to crime and unsanitary conditions on our block. Aside from reporting violations to the Dept. of Buildings and the Dept. of Health, what efforts can be taken to get this building cleaned up, or at the very least properly boarded and fenced?Well, this is certainly a unique case! Your input in the comments, please. We have little experience in the field of rundown crack houses.
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