Tenants in 'Worst Landlords' Building Narrowly Avoid Emergency Evacuation (For Now)

Tenants at 684 Flushing Avenue, a building owned by Ten Worst Landlord Moishe Indig, got some more bad news yesterday. Citing the landlord's failure to pay his bill, Con Edison cut off all electricity and gas to the entire building, which is in a scrappy section of Bushwick, near Woodhull Medical Center, tenant leader Michael Juliano tells the Voice.

When the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) showed up, an official threatened to issue an order to vacate the building. Meaning: Everyone had five days to get out with their belonging or be placed in city shelters.

According to HPD spokeswoman Catie Marshall, the city has avoided issuing the order, which can be mandated for health and safety reasons, "for the time being.'

The building is still without power. Marshall says Con Ed is supposed to restore it this evening.

The situation faced by the residents is fairly typical of the downward spiral of slum buildings when a landlord stops doing maintenance. In this case, there were crack addicts living in the building's unlocked basement. The tenants get frustrated and stop paying rent. Tenants at 684 Flushing, which houses people that receive housing assistance, including a number of recovering addicts, haven't paid rent in a year.

684 Flushing is on the city's list of 200 worst buildings. When we checked this afternoon, the building had 120 housing code violations (With only six apartment units, that's 20 violations per apartment). Since 2007, according to city documents, the city has spent $48,000 dollars in emergency repairs on the building, which Indig has recently repaid. When we interviewed Indig in February, he told us he told us that he hoped that next year, he would be placed on the 'best landlords list.' So far, his chances aren't looking too good.


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