Public Advocate Bill de Blasio says the city does business with one of the worst landlords in New York City.
The city pays David Bistricer about $10 million a year to rent two large office buildings in Downtown Brooklyn.
Bistricer is the landlord of Flatbush Gardens, a residential complex in Flatbush, Brooklyn where 44 of its 59 buildings have serious housing code violations. He landed three months ago on de Blasio's slumlord list, which was complied by the public advocate to try to shame landlords into action.
"If a landlord's benefitting from city business on the one hand and then doing something wrong by tenants on the other hand and incurring huge penalties in the process, something is wrong with this picture," said de Blasio.
The Flatbush Gardens complex in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
The public advocate does not want the city to do business with slumlords, and if it does, he wants officials to use city leases as leverage to make landlords like Bistricer clean up their buildings.
The city has paid more than $150,000 in emergency repairs on Bistricer's residential buildings.
"Look at violations, how they treat tenants, whether they pay the city back for emergency repairs. At minimum, that should be a way to determine whether they get a lease or renew a lease," said de Blasio.
One resident of the 44 Flatbush Gardens buildings with violations, Allen Parker, has many problems in his apartment that have not been properly fixed, including leaks in his ceiling and radiator and a front door that does not lock.
Flatbush Gardens resident Allen Parker points out a leak in his apartment.
Parker wants the city to rent from someone other that Bistricer.
"My landlord don't live here. If he lived here, he'd see the problems we deal with everyday," said Parker. "The mice, the rats, the rodents in the hall, the roaches are constant. They claim they spray, but they're back time and time again. If the city don't know about this, they putting their fingers [over] their own eyes."
City leaders say they signed the lease for the two office buildings with a different company that later sold the building to Bistricer, and they plan to take a closer look at his track record when it comes time to renew.
Bistricer told NY1 he plans to make repairs to clear the violations off the books.