Councilman Holden, Queens BP Richards propose new bills that would rid city of neglected properties

Councilman Robert Holden.
Photo by Anthony Medina

Councilman Robert Holden and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. introduced two pieces of legislation during a recent New York City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug 3.  

One proposed bill, known as Intro 1146, will ban the use of plywood to board up abandoned and foreclosed properties not sealed or continuously guarded. Property owners will also still be required to close any points of entry, but by any other means than the use of plywood. 

The second bill, Intro 1147, will require property owners to post a $5,000 bond to the Department of Finance when their buildings are undergoing foreclosure. According to the bill, the bond is sent to the commissioner of finance to address housing maintenance, building, and sanitation violations during vacancy or foreclosure. The bond will be returned to the property owner upon request, but if they fail to pay, they are subject to a daily fine of $200. 

“These eyesores have no place in our communities, as they contribute to neighborhood blight and attract criminal activities,” said Holden. “We can prevent deterioration, curb blight and maintain the value of our neighborhoods. I look forward to working with Borough President Richards to restoring the visual appeal of our communities and creating a safer environment for all residents.”

Both proposed bills aim to hold property owners accountable for managing any abandoned and foreclosed properties.

“Zombie buildings are eyesores and detriments to their communities that impact our neighbors’ quality of life,” said Richards. “These common sense bills will help address numerous issues that these zombie buildings create and I look forward to working with Council Member Holden to further address these concerns.”

Holden represents the neighborhoods of Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside in the City Council.