NEW YORK — The city is pushing landlords to immediately fix residential buildings damaged in Hurricane Sandy so all New Yorkers have heat and hot water as winter approaches, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.
Hundreds of private homes and apartment buildings in Queens, Staten Island and southern Brooklyn still do not have electricity or heat nearly a month after the storm, raising concerns about residents' health and safety as the temperature drops, Bloomberg said.
If the landlords do not take quick action to repair their buildings, the city will issue violations, do the necessary work and charge the landlord for the costs, Bloomberg said.
"Winter is approaching and it puts us in a race against time, adding tremendous urgency to the task of restoring essential services including electricity, heat and hot water," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg estimated that as many as 25,000 New Yorkers were still dealing with homes that had no electricity or heat, though some of them may be living elsewhere.
Landlords can fix the buildings themselves or they can get help through the city's NYC Rapid Repairs program by calling 311, officials said.
Bloomberg urged residents who are without heat to watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, confusion and weakness.