Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, joined with community groups from Brooklyn and Queens on the steps of City Hall to speak-out about the ongoing negative impact of the illegal home conversions on the neighborhoods of our city. Assemblywoman Malliotakis was flanked by members of Elmhurst United and the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance, two grassroots organizations that have fought to bring attention to this issue and who have repeatedly called upon city officials to take proactive measures and enact tough laws that will slow and hopefully halt further conversions.
Illegal home conversions often take place when shady speculators buy single or 2 family homes and then, without filing the necessary paperwork or receiving the required permits, convert these homes into a warren of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) apartments. The resulting units create a host of problems and public safety issues, not only for those living in the illegal conversion, but, for the surrounding community as well. The NYC Department of Buildings’ Open Data website reports that there have been over 140,000 complaints filed on suspected illegal conversions over the past 7 years.
One of the most common public safety issues is the threat of fire. In 2014, a man was killed and nine people were injured, four of them children, when a fire enveloped a wood frame building in Flatbush, Brooklyn that was housing 23 tenants in 11 rooms.
Earlier this year a Dyker Heights home was issued full vacate after a two family home was converted into an 8 family house. Another Dyker Heights home was found to be housing 31 people – including 13 children – in what was originally a two family house.
Illegal conversions are an absolute danger to occupants. Inspections of these homes found sealed exits, unpermitted gas and plumbing lines and insufficient ventilation.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Today we are calling on the city to be more proactive in their prosecution of these illegal conversions by:
– Enforcing existing laws, such as Intro 1218 which created a $15,000 penalty for each illegally partitioned unit that is three or more units above the certificate of occupancy. The imposed fine constitutes a lien on the property that if unpaid for one year can be sold by the city. Additionally, the law equips the Department of Buildings with the tools necessary to obtain a warrant to gain access to a suspected illegal conversion”.
– Create a citywide task force of inspectors who can be deployed in a timely fashion to inspect buildings that have received complaints of being illegal conversions. The task force will work closely with Community Boards, Civic Organizations, the NYPD and FDNY who will act as their eyes and ears in the community.
– Pursue the collection of uncollected ECB/DOB fines; according to a 2016 article in Crain’s, New York City has more than half billion uncollected ECB/DOB fines. The City Charter allows these fines to be written off as uncollectable. The actual collection of even a portion of these fines will create a revenue stream the will pay the salaries for additional inspectors who are desperately needed.
– Work with state legislators to fashion and pass legislation that would levy severe penalties on landlords that permit illegal re-entry to buildings that have been evacuated by the Department of Buildings Marshals Unit.
“These are the steps that should be taken immediately and as mayor, I would fast-track their implementation, making it a priority for my administration and I would use the influence of my office to lobby the state legislature and the city council to pass the appropriate legislation. In addition, I will also work with local civic groups like Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance and Elmhurst United to identify and crack down on unsafe and illegal home conversions throughout the city.
“Now, I would like to welcome to the podium Bob Cassara of the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance and Phil Wong of Elmhurst United who will speak to the issue of illegal apartment conversions in their respective neighborhoods.”
El Barrio Residents Turn-Out in Support of her Candidacy
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, held a Wednesday morning news conference at 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan where she discussed issues affecting the residents of “El Barrio” including failing schools, the situation in Puerto Rico and the lack of jobs for the Latino community and where she received the support of neighborhood residents led by longtime Democratic Party activist and community leader Edwin Marcial. Assemblywoman Malliotakis called El Barrio, “Another neighborhood which has seen its quality of life suffer due to the empty promises and failed leadership of Bill de Blasio.”
The intersection of 116th Street and Lexington Avenue, which is also known as La Guardia’s lucky corner, has been the location for election eve political rallies dating back nearly a century, to a time when legendary New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was launching his political career as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “As I’ve campaigned around the 5 boroughs of our city, I’ve listened to the problems that New Yorkers face. Today, we stand at a historic intersection, where candidates have come for nearly a century in the hopes of grabbing a little bit of the luck that propelled Fiorello La Guardia to so many victories. Mayor La Guardia famously stated, ‘There is no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage.’ This is an adage that Bill de Blasio should have taken to heart; New Yorkers want a mayor who manages New York City and sees that neighborhoods like El Barrio get the city services it deserves. Not a Mayor like Bill de Blasio, who spends his time pushing a national political agenda and jetting round the globe instead of focusing his attention on school districts in Harlem, like District 4 where we stand today and which according to a report issued earlier this year by StudentsFirstNY is the worst district for middle schoolers in the city; a distinct where only 30 percent of students achieved proficiency in reading on the 2016 state test and 21 percent achieved proficiency on the statewide math exam.
“Mayor de Blasio has promised to be a mayor for all New Yorkers, but his words ring hollow when you consider that Latinos are the poorest segment in this city, with more than 50% of Latino children living below the federal poverty line and where in the final year of his term only 20% of municipal hires are Latino even though Latinos make up 29% of the population of New York City.
“As Mayor I will work to lift Latino children and their parents out of poverty by fixing our failing schools and by helping to create good paying private sector jobs.
“I will work with city government, the unions and the private sector to create more minority and women owned businesses that will provide hope and opportunity for residents of El Barrio and for all New Yorkers.
“My proud Cuban-American mother stands next to me today as a reminder that I too, am a Latina and that, as mayor, I will have a very strong and personal commitment to seeing that all our neighborhoods get the schools, programs and services they need and that no neighborhood, including El Barrio, is left behind.
“I want to thank Edwin Marciel and the residents of El Barrio who join us on Mayor La Guardia’s lucky corner today. In less than 3 weeks, New Yorkers will head to the polls cast their vote for mayor and its traditional Democrats like Edwin Marciel and his neighbors assembled here today who will send a powerful message and make Bill de Blasio a 1 term mayor.”
The campaign of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, today released its third television commercial titled Why I’m Running. The 30 second spot, which opens in her parents’ kitchen, speaks to the problems faced by New Yorkers as they try to achieve the American Dream. The commercial was produced by BrabenderCox.
The spot started running on New York City cable and broadcast television on Tuesday morning.
Ed Mullins: Malliotakis Will Stand With Us When Times Get Tough
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, received the endorsement of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) on Tuesday morning during their monthly meeting, held at Antun’s in Queens Village. Ed Mullins, longtime President of the SBA said, “As mayor, Nicole Malliotakis will stand with us when times get tough; she’ll mourn with us and she’ll be there to swear in new members of the department.”
The Sergeants Benevolent Association is made-up of approximately 13,000 active and retired sergeants of the NYPD, making it the fifth largest police union in the nation.
SBA President Ed Mullins said, “Today, the Sergeants Benevolent Association is proud to endorse Nicole Malliotakis in the race for mayor. Make no mistake; Assemblywoman Maliotakis is the polar opposite of Bill de Blasio. During her career in the New York State Assembly, Nicole Malliotakis has proven by her actions and her votes that she is supports law enforcement and safe communities. She believes in the men and women of the NYPD and understands the danger they face on a daily basis. She also believes in the leadership and dedication of the men and women in this room; the frontline supervisors of the world’s best police department.
“As mayor, Nicole Malliotakis will stand with us when times get tough; she’ll be there to mourn with us, and she’ll be there to swear in new members of the department and shake their hands. She’ll work with the NYPD and communities of color to implement real programs that will establish trust, help our homeless that have been abandoned and work with the Governor to improve our transit system.
“On the campaign trail she hasn’t hesitated to call out those who wanted to honor a convicted FALN terrorist as he paraded up Fifth Avenue or the judges, appointed by our mayor, who put repeat offenders back on the street, time and again.
“Hopefully, New Yorkers who care about our city and its future will join with us in supporting Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in the race for mayor.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “I’d like to thank the members of the SBA and President Ed Mullins for their strong words of support.. Like so many other New Yorkers you recognize the damages this mayor has done to our city and to your police department.
“During his term in office, Bill de Blasio has done his best to roll back successes of the prior 20 years. Whether it’s the decriminalization of quality of life crimes, or the mayor’s refusal to compromise on his Sanctuary City policy, which, if kept in place, may jeopardize tens of millions in federal counter terror funding. Both you and I know that’s wrong for law and order and wrong for our city.
“As mayor, I will make rebuilding the relationship between city hall and the men and women of the NYPD a priority. I will be a mayor who will find the time to listen to and work with union leaders and not freeze out those who represent some of the bravest and most dedicated workers in city government.
“I’ll work to give the NYPD the resources to fight crime and protect New Yorkers and I will fight for the expansion of programs that build relationships we communities, especially those that focus on our youth and provide them with positive activities and mentoring by off duty members of the NYPD.
“The main purpose of any government is the protection of its citizens and you are the front line in making that happen in right here in New York. Thank you for your support and stay safe!”
Plight of Relatives in Puerto Rico Makes Effort More Personal. Asks New Yorkers to Turn Out for Relief Efforts
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis today called on all New Yorkers to show their support for the people of Puerto Rico by attending a Saturday afternoon Hurricane Relief Concert organized by Assemblyman Jose Rivera and Pedro Pocholo II. The concert will be held this Saturday, October 14th from 1:00 – 5:00 pm at Fordham Plaza, 3rd Avenue and East Fordham Road in the Bronx, NY. For more information, call Assemblyman Rivera’s office at 718-933-2204.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis said, “The dire situation in Puerto Rico is very personal to me; nearly a dozen of my family members live in and around San Juan and my 94-year-old great aunt, Francisca, who lived in a nursing home, passed away in the days after the storm.
“New Yorkers have lived through 9/11 and SuperStorm Sandy. We know what it’s like when disaster strikes and what a helping hand truly means. So please be generous to the relief efforts and please support the Hurricane Relief Concert organized by my friend and colleague, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, this Saturday at Fordham Plaza.”