NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Until now, the city would wait for complaints then check for violations in a building sliding into distress.

880’s Rich Lamb reports

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“Until now, the city’s approach to poor housing conditions has always been reactive,” said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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But Quinn says now they’ll look for buildings with long histories of violations and other signals as well, such as late taxes or water bills, foreclosure notices, etc.

Quinn says, “Now, we’re changing it to a proactive response.”

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Now, if things get bad enough, the city will go in, do repairs, and bill the landlord. Then if the bill isn’t paid, the debt will be sold to a collector.