HPD Imposes $150,000 In Fines On Property Owner For Violating Lead-Based Paint Regulations

January 16, 2024

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced that it has obtained civil penalties amounting to $150,000.

This is concerning lead-based paint enforcement across ten properties owned by Ezriel Weinberger and affiliates, involving over 790 total units, 99 of which had open lead-based paint violations. The properties, located in the Bronx and Manhattan, each incurred fines of $15,000 per building. The enforcement action, aligned with the city’s Taking the Lead on Lead initiative, underscores the Adams Administration’s commitment to mitigating childhood lead exposure, which has seen a remarkable 93 percent decline since the initiative launched in 2005. 

“Today’s announcement will resonate with all New Yorkers. We all know that lead exposure is toxic and can especially affect young children and set back or permanently damage their development. We also know that responsible property owners make sure their buildings are lead safe and lead free.  That’s why I’m glad we’re holding this irresponsible owner to account,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Enforcement is a pillar of our work to ensure families live in safe and healthy homes. We use violations, litigation, and swift emergency repairs to compel landlords to meet their moral and legal obligations. Those who perform as expected contribute to our collective well-being, and those who don’t are and will continue to be held accountable. Good work Team HPD!”   

As part of this settlement, Ezriel Weinberger and affiliates have been ordered to comply with lead-based paint regulations and rectify all violations across the ten buildings – two of which are in Manhattan and eight in the Bronx.  

  • 2675 GRAND CONCOURSE, Bronx  
  • 1001 JEROME AVENUE, Bronx  
  • 1750 GRAND CONCOURSE, Bronx 
  • 3595 BAINBRIDGE AVENUE, Bronx   
  • 2181 BARNES AVENUE, Bronx 
  • 2995 BOTANICAL SQUARE, Bronx  
  • 3140 KINGSBRIDGE AVENUE, Bronx  
  • 1921 ADAM C POWELL BOULEVARD, Manhattan  
  • 720 RIVERSIDE DRIVE, Manhattan  

The outstanding violations include both lead-based and non-lead-based paint, totaling over 1,000 violations, with 154 directly linked to lead hazards, recordkeeping, and failure to perform inspections when a dwelling unit changes tenants. Additionally, Weinberger and affiliates must comply with record-keeping, annual notice, and investigation requirements per Local Law 1 of 2004, going forward.  

The settlement comes in the wake of other successful legal action securing $4 million against the city’s Worst Landlord, Daniel Ohebshalom, and as HPD’s enforcement team and the Adams Administration continue its proactive approach to enforce regulations. In December, HPD secured a court ordered 7A Administrator to take over management of one of Ohebshalom’s buildings in Hell’s Kitchen. In August, the city announced that thousands of health and safety violations – including hundreds related to lead-based paint  in more than 5,000 apartments had been successfully corrected as part of a sweeping agreement between the city and four major property owners and their companies. 

To prevent lead exposure, landlords of multiple dwellings built before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 with knowledge of lead-based paint) must provide Annual Notices to tenants between January 1 and 16, collecting them by February 15. Notices must be available in English and Spanish, prompting tenants to identify if a child under six resides or spends significant time in the unit. 

Owners can select from two Annual Notice versions: “Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning and Window Falls Annual Notice” and “Annual Notice for Prevention of Lead-Based Paint Hazards – Inquiry Regarding Child.” If tenants don’t return completed notices, landlords must notify DOHMH in writing and conduct follow-up investigations. HPD offers sample forms on its website to assist owners in documenting the delivery of the Annual Notice, including any follow-up inspections. 

When owners discover a unit occupied by a child under six, they must conduct visual inspections for potential lead-based paint hazards annually or more frequently based on prior knowledge or reports. Though professional inspection isn’t mandatory, virtual training from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is recommended. The visual inspection should identify peeling paint, chewable surfaces, deteriorated sub-surfaces, friction and impact surfaces, with prompt repairs required if lead paint is found. 

Tenants concerned about lead paint and landlords’ inaction can file complaints online or via 311. HPD will schedule an appointment for an inspector to conduct a lead-based paint inspection. If necessary, the uniformed inspector will issue violations to the landlord. In Fiscal Year 2023, HPD issued over 18,000 lead-based paint hazard violations, over 5,200 violations for an owner to fail to complete or document turnover requirements and over 1,300 violations for failure to complete proper recordkeeping related to required lead-based paint activities. HPD spent almost $2 million in FY23 related to completed lead based paint remediation. 

HPD collaborates with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other agencies across the city to observe National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week annually, organizing educational events that reach hundreds of families to distribute preventive materials to parents and backpacks with coloring books, story books, and crayons to children. HPD’s efforts in preventing and educating on lead exposure are continuous, and materials are still handed out to families through the Mobile Unit Outreach van. To learn more about when HPD will be in your district in the spring. 

HPD’s “Get Ahead of Lead” webinar series can help landlords learn more about their responsibilities and obligations under Local Law 1 of 2004. For more information on annual lead requirements, webinars, trainings, and sample forms, please visit https://www.nyc.gov/site/hpd

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing. 

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