NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams recently released the annual Worst Landlord Watchlist, the 100 worst landlords in New York City as determined by widespread building code violations. The top 15 worst landlords in New York City for the year 2021 are listed as follows:
Landlord Mark Tress AKA Moshe Tress purchased a run down New York City landmark in 2009 in Hell’s Kitchen known as the Windermere Building for $13 million. Tress has been planning to turn the building into a 175 room boutique hotel. The building has been vacant since 2008. The building accumulated 648 Housing Preservation and Development violations in 2021. The building is boarded up. No work activity appears to be taking place at the Windermere. See below:
Mark Tress is a big macher in the large Orthodox Jewish community based out of Lakewood, New Jersey. In 2018 the State of New Jersey allowed residents of Lakewood who committed Medicaid fraud to enter into a controversial amnesty program. The program was set up after scores of Jewish couples in Lakewood were arrested for Medicaid fraud. One person who was granted amnesty under the program was Moshe S. Newhouse, a member of Lakewood’s Board of Education. Newhouse purchased a $500K house right after he paid off the State of New Jersey for committing Medicaid fraud. Mark Tress set up a fund to help his fellow citizens of Lakewood pay off their putative Medicaid fraud debts under the amnesty program. Mark “lent” money, with no interest or fees charged, to Lakewood residents for the purpose of paying off their Medicaid fraud debts. According to Tress, repayment of the loans is completely voluntary and based on an “honor” system.
Tress also owns an apartment building at 4683 Park Avenue in the Bronx that accumulated 134 violations in 2021, see picture below. Mark had a total of 781 open violations with the NYC Housing Preservation and Development agency for the year 2021.
For the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 the New York City Housing Authority was ranked at the top of the list as the worst landlord for its apartments located in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx and central Brooklyn. In December 2020 NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams: “The DiBlasio administration itself is among the worst landlords this year, in part because they have failed to hold bad actors accountable again and again throughout this tenure.” The New York City Housing Authority manages 328 developments–178,000 apartments in 2,550 buildings, 60% of which are more than 50 years old. No private landlord comes close to owning the amount of apartments as the NYC Housing Authority.
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