Mandatory heat provision period begins, and so do the complaints
Oct. 1 marked the beginning of this year’s “heat season,” the period from Oct. 1 to May 1 when building owners are required to provide heat during the day and night for tenants.
The requirement states that between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., if the temperature outside falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees. At night, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the requirement changes to at least 62 degrees.
Over the first nine days of the month, as temperatures ranged from as low as 29 degrees to as high as 81 degrees, a total of 2,808 heat complaints were filed across the city. Two days in particular, Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, accounted for 1,547 of those complaints alone.
A spokesperson with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Matthew Creegan, noted that 311 complaints don’t necessarily mean there is a violation or an infraction, such as a heat or hot water outage. The city can’t determine the situation at the property until an inspector goes out to the property to inspect.
“If an inspector writes a violation, HPD notifies the owner with instructions to repair the condition within a specific time period — the time period for correcting heat and hot water violations is immediate,” Creegan said.
Buildings that do not correct the violations immediately face a fine of $250 to $1,000, according to the mandate.
The season has started at a convenient time for some affordable housing developments; tenants at the Cadman Towers in Brooklyn Heights, for example, just received $250,000 in capital funding for four new boilers.
The housing project is a Mitchell-Lama development that provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate- and middle-income families. Brooklyn has 35 Mitchell-Lama housing developments, accounting for 18,000 units.
The allocation will go toward replacing boilers that are more than four decades old, according to the borough president’s office, which provided the funding.
“These homes have been ladders to the middle class for so many people for so many years. Investments like the one we’re announcing today are important, but we need a long-term solution. We need the city and state to take a more hands-on role in preserving these homes for future generations,” said Borough President Eric Adams in a press release.
According to a recently released report by Localize.city — a real estate platform that provides data on property across the city — Brooklyn had the most buildings with heat and hot water complaints from September 2018 through August 2019 — more than 67,500 complaints across 11,053 buildings. The violations made up a third of all the complaints in that time span.
Brooklyn neighborhoods also accounted in the report for half of the top 10 areas citywide with the most heat and hot water complaints: Crown Heights, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and East Flatbush.
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