By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — After learning that more than half of the "worst" Manhattan buildings singled out by the city's public advocate are located in Washington Heights and Inwood, Community Board 12 planned a forum to figure out how to improve the neighborhoods' housing conditions.
Thirty-seven of 60 of the worst landlords in Manhattan are located in the CB12 district, according to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's watchlist of "NYC's Worst Landlords."
Property owners who qualify for the list have at least three open, serious violations for a building with fewer than 35 units, or at least two open, serious violations per unit in larger buildings, according to the office.
"Many of the buildings on the public advocate's list have emergency declarations," said George Fernandez, vice chair of CB12 and chair of the board's housing committee. He added that most of the buildings have more than 40 "C-type" violations, one of the most serious offenses a building can hold.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development defines a C violation as "immediately hazardous, such as inadequate fire exits, rodents, lead-based paint, lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas."
Owners have 24 hours to correct C violations and five days to certify the correction to remove the violation. If a landlord fails to fix those violations, HPD may fix the problem themselves through its Emergency Repair Program and then bill the owners, according to the department website.
In February, the poor condition of one of the Upper Manhattan buildings on de Blasio's list forced the evacuations of dozens of residents from their 552-556 Academy St. home.
That building is now being managed and reconstructed by the city.
Elected officials have been invited to the May CB12 committee meeting, which will be held on May 5 at 7 p.m. at 40 Haven Ave., across the street from CB12's main office. Those interested can call 212-568-8500 for further details.