HPD’s Half-Court Press

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Some advice to recent law school grads: Don’t bother sending your resume to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

The New York Law Journal recently reported in that the agency’s Housing Litigation Bureau hasn’t filled the 25 attorney positions that have opened up since 1995, leaving the unit with half the number of attorneys it had three years ago, according to the Civil Service Bar Association.

HPD released a statement replying that its attorneys “continue to appear in court to ensure that tenant-initiated actions…are brought to a proper conclusion.”

Housing Court observers aren’t surprised at the news. “The [city] attorneys are so overwhelmed and have such a lack of supervision that they can’t keep up with what they’re doing,” says Ken Rosenfeld, director of legal services for the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation. “Landlords can get away with poor building conditions and feel no one is looking over their shoulder. It means a court order means less and less.”

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