Are landlords the new investment bankers? It certainly seems like no one has a good thing to say about our building-owning overlords these days. First we're told they can't be trusted to fight the scourge of bedbugs, and now the city's public advocate, Bill de Blasio, is landing some jabs. De Blasio is unveiling an eight-point package of proposals designed to empower tenants and force landlords to act less evil, the Times reports. Some of the proposals are simple?like getting his NYC's Worst Landlords website linked on Craigslist (success!)?and some will take a lot of politicking, like denying bad landlords taxpayer subsidies and city leases, establishing mandatory minimum fines for certain violations and getting tenants pro bono legal aid in housing court.
Not all of de Blasio's proposals are designed to only look good to activists and organizations that will be making vital mayoral endorsements come 2013. He's also showing some love to the landlords, outlining ways to help them get funds to repair buildings more quickly, and eliminating some of the red tape in the certification and inspection process. Various city officials say they're ready and willing to hear de Blasio's ideas, so maybe some of these proposals will actually turn into legislation. Of course, when it comes to housing, there's still that other little issue to deal with first.
· Identifying City’s Worst Landlords via Craigslist, and Trying to Penalize Them [NYT]