By Rich Lamb

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The Bloomberg administration is mounting a new crackdown on firetraps – illegally divided apartments packed with people living on the cheap.

The city establishes target buildings based on a number of factors and using a computer model, then sends a newly formed team to the door.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, so far, it’s worked beautifully.

“One big reason for the success with this program, we think, was that inspectors got into all the buildings we targeted because they were accompanied by uniformed members of the fire department,” says Bloomberg.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Mayor Bloomberg

Bloomberg says the presence of uniformed firefighters seems to persuade people to open the door.

“So the difference here is very little other than when you knock on the door, there is a uniformed fire department person standing there with building inspector and that, at least, in the test case, seemed to convince people to open the door,” says Bloomberg.

That access, says the mayor, has made all the difference and has lead to the number of vacate orders increasing by ten times.

Is the crackdown helpful? Sound off in our comments section.

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