Sen. Klein Supports Lask's Fed Case for Bronx Homeowners
An $8 Million Dollar Federal lawsuit filed today in the SDNY, case # 15 cv 1275, against the NYC Department of Buildings (“DOB”) and its contractors Bad Ass, Inc. aleges that the DOB permitted the building of uninhabitable homes in the Bronx while it raked in over $100 Million profits annually from license fees from illegal builders.
Susan Chana Lask and NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein
The case is Johanny DelaCruz, Vianey Gomez, Luis Nieves, Donna Morales, Martha Diaz, Franklin Mejia and Edison Vizcaino v. Rick D. Chandler, P.E. as Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Buildings, The City of NY, Bad Ass, Inc. et al.
The DOB permits allowed Bad Ass to construct substandard homes not up to City building codes that cannot receive permanent Certificates of Occupancy. Senator Jeffrey Klein says the homeowners deserve their day in court as “These unsuspecting plaintiffs bought homes from Bad Ass, Inc. with significant health and safety hazards unbeknownst to them at the time of the closing.”
In addition to DOB threats to evict the homeowners from their homes they paid an average of $600,000 each, they suffer with roof leaks, black mold, improper insulation causing over $400 a month in heating bills, boiler issues, and they cannot refinance or sell their homes because they are illegal without certificates of occupancy. The DOB ignored when Bad Ass abandoned homeowners and let them build more projects knowing Bad Ass violates the law. It appears the DOB turns a blind eye because Bad Ass is a source of income as THE DOB RAKES IN OVER $100 MILLION DOLLARS annually from construction permits:
Comptroller’s Report for Fiscal 2013 Part II-F—General Fund—Schedule G3
Revenues vs. Budget by Agency
Revenue Source Budget Actual Revenue
Within Agency Adopted Modified 2013 2012
Construction Permits 87,800,000 109,000,000 117,489,276 105,171,704
Total Department of Buildings 157,085,000 206,085,510 232,505,008 198,208,131
“The Department of Buildings has ignored these people long enough. It is responsible for safe housing, not issuing building permits for illegal housing because its more concerned with its $100 Million a year revenue while people suffer.” says Susan Chana Lask, the attorney for the homeowners. Homeowner Johanny DelaCruz says “They ruined my family’s life with a home full of black mold and we are sick from freezing here without insulation.”
 The City of New York Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the comptroller for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013, p. 217 (http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/CAFR2013.pdf)