NYCHA tops own worst landlord list for fourth year in a row


When it comes to being a landlord, no one’s worse than Mayor Bill de Blasio.

His New York City Housing Authority is the Big Apple’s worst landlord for the fourth consecutive year, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced Thursday.

De Blasio’s long-troubled NYCHA — landlord to about 400,000 mostly poor and working-class New Yorkers — again earned the ignominious title of the No. 1 spot on the annual Worst Landlord Watch List, after receiving the distinction in 2020, 2019 and 2018.

Since 2010, the public advocate has ranked landlords based on their properties’ average number of open housing code violations on their buildings in accordance with data kept by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The Housing Authority — which has been overseen by a federal monitor since early 2019 due to decrepit conditions in its buildings — as of November was responsible for 600,480 open work orders, up by more than 120,000 from the same point last year, according to the report. The repair backlog is also more than 100,000 orders higher than when de Blasio took office in 2014.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says NYCHA apartments are deteriorating faster since the pandemic.
Robert Miller

“In the last year and a half, it seems like everything has changed. But even amid this pandemic, some things have stayed constant,” Williams said Thursday afternoon, noting Big Apple public housing saw a “dramatic increase in the number of deteriorating or dangerous conditions.”

“The city itself is truly the worst landlord,” he added. “They are so bad that we continually have to put them in their own category.”

Saundrea Coleman, who lives at the Isaac Houses on the Upper East Side, described coping with “unhealthy and hazardous conditions” in her apartment, causing her to experience medical problems.

The Alfred E. Smith Houses, a public housing development built and maintained by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), stand in in the Lower East Side of Manhattan
Resident Saundrea Coleman has suffered medical issues thanks to crumbling conditions in her NYCHA apartment.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“Any other landlord would either be in court or prosecuted with these conditions,” she fumed. “Everybody deserves humane conditions.”

NYCHA was first dubbed the city’s worst landlord in 2018 by then-Public Advocate Letitia James.

In response to the report, a NYCHA rep said, “Everyone across the nation is well aware that NYCHA needs $40 billion to renovate its 2,200 buildings.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James
NYCHA housing conditions have not changed at all since then-Public Advocate Letitia James blasted the agency in 2018.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File

“Work orders have increased because we are aggressively documenting every single thing that’s wrong with our apartments,” added the spokeswoman, Barbara Brancaccio. “This list is kicking New York City public housing yet again — when instead NYCHA needs to be funded and supported — and it conveniently takes the media attention away from private landlords, who need to be similarly held accountable.”

Among private landlords, the watchlist ranks David Schorr of Sugar Hill Capital Partners as the Big Apple’s worst. His 17 buildings containing 330 apartments have an average of a whopping 1,442 housing agency violations, according to the Public Advocate’s Office.

In 2020, Schorr was No. 75 on the list. Williams, a candidate for governor, noted there are more violations for all bad landlords on the list than in 2020’s version.

Coming in second on the list is Abdul Khan of MK Realty Group, with a monthly average of 1,302 HPD open violations in 12 buildings and 209 units, and in third is Nathaniel Montgomery at Throop Court LP, which had an average 1,192 such infractions in its 17 buildings in the five boroughs.

Schorr told TheCity.NYC that the buildings were related to his “old employer” and declined to comment.

The full list can be found at

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