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Tired of seeing city landlords dodge housing inspectors and leave dangerous conditions uncorrected, a group of housing and immigrant rights advocates is pushing the city to crack down. Their solution, known as the Healthy Homes Act (or Intro. 486) would require the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to conduct repeated follow-up inspections whenever “immediately hazardous” Class C violations are found. If a landlord hasn’t fixed the problem within 60 days, HPD would make the repair but charge the landlord three times what it cost as a penalty, money that would both repay tenants’ legal fees and allow the agency to hire more inspectors. Councilmember Letitia James, who introduced the bill in late October, considers it a no-brainer. “We’re not talking about minor violations, we’re talking about hazardous violations,” she said. “Children’s lives are being put at risk.” An HPD spokesperson said the office was still reviewing the bill and was not yet prepared to comment. [11/15/04]

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