From Mark Hersh who allegedly "threatened tenants with a bat" to David Melendez, whose units have "Horrible bedbugs coming from one of the walls", The Village Voice identifies the worst of the city's landlords.
The purpose of the feature is to "show what has been done by 10 moral offenders by analyzing code violations and court proceedings, and through interviews with tenants, organizers, and housing officials."
According to some tenants who live in properties managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the federal agency mandated by law to improve the housing stock:
"Byrd's building has mice crawling through gaping holes in its walls, bare plywood floors, and until recently, no working refrigerators or stoves. With its dim halls, leaking ceilings, and decrepit stairways, it looks like a crack house, and until the dealers left last June, it was one. HUD has owned Byrd's building since August 2004, and a simple tally of its 97 housing-code violations belies the extent of its wreckage."
"There are some hopeful signs for tenants. Most important is that the commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Shaun Donovan, and the head of the Housing Litigation Unit, Deborah Rand, are clearly dedicated to championing tenants trapped in the worst housing. They helped us identify some of the landlords on this list, and they are using every available legal weapon to compel greater code compliance."