According to several news sources, New York City’s Department of Finance collects approximately 1% of fines levied on landlords. The fines, meant to be punitive and compensatory in nature, obviously fails to punish and deter because they are rarely collected.
According to a recent article in the Prospect Heights Patch, in 2016, New York City landlords owed the city more than $1 billion in fines. The news source also states that after 8 years of delinquency, unpaid fines to the Department of Finance are simply written off by the city. This is a travesty.
If New York City would actively collect even half the fines landlords owe, a big dent could be put in the City’s homeless problem; that is if the City would collect the money, and properly appropriate it. The City should be using these missing funds to build much needed affordable housing.
-The HMLS New Yorker