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D.A. BRAGG ANNOUNCES CREATION OF THE OFFICE’S FIRST HOUSING & TENANT PROTECTION UNIT

(NEW YORK STATE SENATE) BRIAN KAVANAGH, October 13, 2022

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the creation of the Office’s first-ever Housing & Tenant Protection Unit, which will target systemic criminal harassment of tenants and abuse of government programs by landlords and developers. Areas of focus will be harassment of rent-regulated tenants, deed fraud and defrauding of government subsidy programs by landlords and developers. This is the first time the Office will have a unit chief and cross-designated Assistant District Attorneys specifically assigned to housing matters. 
 
“New York City is in the midst of a housing crisis, and that means tenants are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords,” said District Attorney Bragg. “By taking a targeted approach to complex and pervasive criminal activity, we can root out the bad actors who are seeking to game the system for profit at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers. The creation of this unit represents our firm commitment to fully utilizing the resources of our office to ensure Manhattan residents can exercise the right to live safely and securely.”  
 
The Office also announced today that the Unit, which will sit within the Financial Frauds Bureau, will be led by Assistant District Attorney Chikaelo Ibeabuchi, who will oversee three cross-designated Assistant D.A.s who have a background in housing and real estate law, along with a dedicated Housing Coordinator. The Office has committed additional resources to expand the Unit as needed. 

The Unit will focus on long-term investigations into systemic, structured and organized criminal activity among landlords and developers. The Office will refer complaints on other matters – such as individual disputes between landlords and tenants – to the appropriate agency, such as the Department of Buildings, Housing Preservation and Development and advocacy groups. 

Tips and complaints can be submitted to the Unit’s hotline at 212-335-8900 or email Danyhousing@dany.nyc.gov. This Office is a safe place to report crime regardless of your immigration status. 
 
“I commend District Attorney Bragg on this initiative to create the Housing and Tenant Protection Unit, a first-of-its-kind program created to address tenant abuse and harassment from landlords and developers,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to combatting systemic mistreatment in housing, an issue that we must face head-on to address both its broad implications and role in racial inequity. This new office is notable and a tremendous step in our efforts to ensure equity as we move our city forward.”

Source: NY STATE SENATE