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LAS, Elected Officials and Tenants Call on City to Save Crumbling Bronx Building

Legal Aid, elected officials, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and tenants of 2201-2205 Davidson Ave. convened in the Bronx on Thursday to make a unique request of the city: Foreclose on the buildings and turn them over to nonprofit or cooperative ownership, reports The City. The current owner, New Day Housing Corporation, has not only allegedly ignored leaks, structural damage and other conditions bedeviling residents of the 49-unit, rent-stabilized complex, but has disregarded its financial obligations to the city, too. In fact, the landlords owe $12.6 million to the city, records show, and property taxes have not been paid in more than three decades.

The city attempted to foreclose on the building in 2015 because of the lingering debt, but its owners tried to enter it into bankruptcy, suspending the foreclosure process. The bankruptcy proceeding was ultimately dismissed in 2018. But now, the city’s decision to freeze the program that would enable a different owner to take over the building, called Third Party Transfer, has complicated things. The Third Party Transfer program enables city tax officials and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to shift a building’s deed to a nonprofit steward, rather than take possession of it for outstanding bills.

“What’s unique about this building is that the city actually has tools to make these tenants’ lives better. To me that’s the story — the city could do something to help these tenants’ lives and has chosen to just ignore them and do nothing,” said Ellen Davidson, Staff Attorney in our Housing Law Unit.