The mayor’s statement, publicizing a crackdown on owners of more than 3,000 rental buildings, is his sharpest critique yet of enforcement lapses benefiting scofflaw property owners.
Reversing years of lax scrutiny, officials are seeking to enforce rent protections tied to the city’s single biggest housing subsidy.
Legislation introduced in City Council on Wednesday would require the city’s housing arm to audit 20 percent of buildings receiving the benefit. Violators would have to return the money.
Tenants have sued a Lower Manhattan developer, saying their leases should have been rent-stabilized in exchange for the tax breaks their landlord received. State and local officials have now filed a brief supporting the tenants, whose case could affect thousands of rental units.
The head of the city’s housing department has laid out steps to boost oversight of tax breaks for developers and other programs overseen by the agency.
A bill introduced in response to ProPublica’s reporting would make landlords liable for up to 10 times the amount of overcharges imposed on tenants in rent-stabilized apartments.
City Council members propose inventory system and fines for landlords after ProPublica reports that 50,000 apartments aren’t registered for rent regulation as required.