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City Council passes major legislation to create affordable housing, prevent tenant harassment

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The City Council has asked HPD to identify vacant buildings that can be converted to affordable housing

The New York City Council passed a flurry of bills aimed at creating more affordable housing, and preventing tenant harassment, at its final meeting of the year, on Tuesday. Some of the other bills they passed concerned energy efficiency in buildings, the collection of landlord data, and better monitoring of construction sites, The Real Deal reports.

In regards to landlord data, the City Council has asked the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to create an online tool where New Yorkers can access information about the properties landlords own in the city, and what sort of building violations and tenant harassment has taken place at their properties. In addition, the HPD has also been asked to scope out vacant building that could be prime sites to develop affordable housing.

With a spate of construction site deaths in 2017, the City Council has now created penalties of up to $500,000 for companies in charge of a site where a serious injury or death occurs. In addition, these companies will be required to report construction site deaths, conduct random drug and alcohol tests, and also give advance notice of planned work at the site.

In regards to affordable housing, the City Council approved projects in Queens and Harlem. The former Queens Hospital Center will be converted into 206 units of affordable housing; and on East 125th Street, the National Black Theater will team up with L+M Development Partners to build apartments, and a new theater.