Vol. 16, No. 13 June 18 - July 2, 2003


First Step on Housing Bill

Legislation that would make it more difficult for landlords to wriggle out of their
obligation to make critical repairs to their buildings passed the Assembly last week. The bill, crafted and pushed by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, would make it more likely that particularly negligent landlords would have their buildings temporarily placed in the control of an outside administrator, known as a 7A, who is charged with bringing the building back up to code.

The bad news is that the legislation, which was inspired by the death of a little boy last summer in an electrical fire in a neglected Norwood building, stands little or no chance of passing the Senate since this is the last week of the session. There is also no Senate sponsor for the bill.

Dinowitz said he would work "twice as hard" identifying a Senate sponsor in the next session, which begins in January.

Also dooming the legislation this time around is that none of the housing and advocacy groups have been lobbying for the bill, probably because they are so busy with the battle over rent regulations and fending off city and state budget cuts. We hope that after this issue is resolved, the housing groups (and there are many significant ones in the northwest Bronx) can focus on the legislation and throw their collective weight behind it. If they think the legislation is not strong enough, they should work with Dinowitz and other lawmakers to strengthen it.

The bill is not a cure-all. There are clearly problems within the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Court that allow buildings with large numbers of violations to go unaddressed for so long. A multi-pronged approach seems in order here.

Nearly a year after the tragedy that took 7-year-old Jashawn Parker's life, we are disappointed that so little has changed in city and state housing policy when it is so clear that government failed. We only that hope this time next year we're not writing the same editorial.

Party in Our Backyard 
For the second year in a row, Mosholu Parkway will have the honor of being the site for the Bronx Week Food, Art and Music Festival, featuring the Bronx Week Parade.

Obviously, it shouldn't be a hard sell to get area residents to have some free fun for the whole family in their own backyard. But we just want to make the point that a great turnout will send a message to the event's organizers that Mosholu Parkway is a great place to have the parade and festival every year.

So, let's all get out to Mosholu Parkway this Sunday and tell our friends and neighbors to do the same!

Back to Opinion Index Page

News | Opinion | Schools | Features | Continuing Stories | Home
About Us | Past Issues



Click here for
The Bronx Mall

Copyright 2003  Norwood News. All Rights Reserved.