Adams says technology catches heat-stingy landlords

Beep touts temperature tracking device

December 5, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Holding up a heat sensor developed Heat Seek NYC, Borough President Eric Adams joined tenants and housing lawyers outside 178 Rockaway Parkway in Brownsville last week. Photo by Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office
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Amid the news that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of tenants of a Brownsville building against the landlord over a lack of heat was a little-noticed development that Borough President Eric Adams said could wind up playing a major role in helping apartment dwellers fight heat-stingy landlords.

Adams announced on Dec. 1 that he is providing $5,000 in funding to allow five multiple-unit buildings in the borough to be equipped with new technology that can determine remotely if a dwelling has heat.

Standing outside an apartment house at 178 Rockaway Parkway in Brownsville, Adams touted a device called Heat Seek NYC, which remotely tracks the temperature of the interior of a building.

Using sensor hardware and web applications, Heat Seek NYC helps to ensure that heat levels in apartments fall within the legal range, while at the same time providing evidence to verify heating code abuse claims by tenants, Adams said.

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Heat Seek NYC was a winner of the NYC BigApps contest in 2014.

Adams said it was also back in 2014 that he first sought to forge a connection between the developers of Heat Seek NYC and law-abiding landlords in Brooklyn, like the Fifth Avenue Committee, who agreed to use the technology in their buildings.

Adams has authorized $5,000 in new funding to place monitoring hardware at five Brooklyn buildings, including 178 Rockaway Parkway.

“We are using cool technology to warm the homes of Brooklynites, while putting bad-acting landlords on the hot seat for their harassing behavior,” Adams said.

Noelle Francois, executive director of Heat Seek NYC, called the device “a simple, low-cost way to hold bad landlords accountable and provide relief for many of our neighbors this winter,” particularly in low-income neighborhoods.

“With Borough President Adams’ support, we’re eager to build on this work and get more sensors where they’re needed most in our city,” Francois said.

Sunny Noh, supervising attorney for the Tenant Rights Coalition of the Legal Aid Society, said the coalition filed a lawsuit against Rockway Parkway Realty LLC, the owner of 178 Rockaway Parkway, on Nov. 29 charging lack of proper heating.

The lawsuit was filed using data obtained with Heat Seek NYC, Adams said.

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