“In a major victory for tenants across the city, Justice Eileen A. Rakower of the New York State Supreme Court has upheld the Safe Housing Act against legal challenge by a landlord. Under the Safe Housing Act, the City identifies buildings with the worst housing code violations and targets them for aggressive inspection and comprehensive repairs. If building owners do not make the necessary repairs and correct the underlying conditions, HPD steps in to fix the violations and charges owners for the cost of the work.

“I want to commend Justice Rakower for affirming that all New Yorkers have a basic right to safe and livable housing. I also want to thank Council Members Letitia James, Erik Martin Dilan, and Gale Brewer and my other Council colleagues for working so diligently to pass this important legislation.

“For too long, tenants in the city were held hostage by unscrupulous landlords, waiting through prolonged legal proceedings before critical repairs would be made. But in the last two years, hundreds of buildings have been rehabilitated as a result of our program. The Safe Housing Act has proven to be one of our most effective tools for housing code enforcement, and I am extremely pleased that this important work will be able to continue. ”