The Big Chill

Will HPD staff cuts freeze tenants out this winter?

Last week, Corso received a distressing message that HPD has put welfare recipients in the WEP program to work in Brooklyn, calling tenants who have registered complaints to see if repairs, including lack of heat, have been made. "The way it was described to me, they're told to call up and see if they can get a tenant to agree that HPD doesn't need to send an inspector out," said Corso. "It's frustrating. But if you've got WEP workers calling to cancel heat complaints that probably shouldn't be canceled, I guess the attitude of 'Hey, let's just have them put on another blanket' can't be far away."

Hot Tips

New York City landlords are required to provide the following levels of heat during the heating season (October 1 to May 31):

  • From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., indoor temperature must be at least 68 degrees when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees. Overnight indoor temperature must be at least 55 degrees if the outdoor temperature falls below 40 degrees.

  • Hot water must be available 365 days a year at all hours. The temperature at the tap must be at least 120 degrees; water temperatures in showers and tubs with anti-scalding devices can go as low as 110 degrees.

    For heat or hot-water complaints, call HPD's complaint bureau at 212-960-4800.

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