Mayor de Blasio Announces Plans to Protect Tenants, Workers & More

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

State of the City 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled sweeping steps today to protect tenants, punish bad landlords, and recover payments to exploited freelance and domestic workers.

At his State of the City conference held at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side and packed with officials, residents and prominent leaders including his Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan and key Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the mayor outlined a number of innovative plans, many sure to spark discussion including:

  • Taking steps to annually seize upwards of 40 of the most distressed multiple dwelling buildings and transition them to nonprofit ownership.  These buildings, Mayor de Blasio said, would be ones that fail to correct violations and pay dollars owed to the City.
  • Advocate for dramatically increased financial penalties against landlords – quintupling certain City penalties (including false certifications of repairs) through Local Law and pushing for State Law that auto-converts judgments into liens after one year – forcing landlords to make repairs to avoid losing buildings through tax lien sales.    
  • Protect workers by enforcing City laws like Paid Safe and Sick Leave and Fair Workweek, and intervening when a for-hire worker is mistreated or a freelancer’s pay is delayed.
  • Expand compliance to ensure payments to exploited freelancers
  • Proposing a Paid Personal Time Law to ensure 10 days paid personal time for employees at all businesses with five or more employees

How tenants and workers are protected is the purview of government officials.  These issues are also integral to the mission of Catholic Charities NY. We help solve the problems of New Yorkers in need, the homeless family, the hungry senior, the unpaid worker -- non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Echoing this goal, Mr. de Blasio said today that, “whether you're an employee or a temp, whether you're paid by check or cash, whether you're documented or not, if you work in New York City, then we will work for you.”

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