Official Press Release from Corazón Pineda-Isaac
Yonkers City Council-member Corazón Pineda-Isaac (D-2) today announced the introduction of an amendment to chapter 58 of the City’s “Housing and Building Maintenance Code” to include mold in its definition of “indoor asthma allergen hazards” in multiple dwellings. Currently, the City of Yonkers is unable to issue violations to property owners regarding mold simply because the City’s code does not include mold in its definition of indoor allergen hazards. The Council-member’s amendment is aimed at updating the local law to include mold in its definition thereby holding landlords accountable while also protecting City residents.
“Indoor allergen hazards, including insects, rodents and other pests, as well as mold, present an uninhabitable living condition that is dangerous to the health of tenants,” said Councilmember Pineda-Isaac. “The City of Yonkers has not done enough to protect its residents from mold in holding property owners to account and it’s long overdue for the Mayor to act.”
In addition to including mold as a health hazard within the City code, the Council member’s amendment also stipulates landlord accountability for correcting underlying defects that cause indoor mold, such as a water leak. The department will investigate any complaint from a tenant in the event mold is identified on an indoor surface, building structure, ventilation system, or within wall cavities. Failure to correct a violation within the time period provided will constitute a fine of $1,000 for each violation.
“It is the intent of this law to improve the living and health conditions of tenants in the City of Yonkers by eradicating indoor allergen hazards from their apartments,” said Councilmember Pineda-Isaac. “Exposure to high levels of indoor mold can cause negative health outcomes, particularly for those who are most vulnerable such as the elderly, children and individuals living with preexisting conditions. The inclusion of mold tenant protections within our City code accomplishes just that.”
The Council member’s amendment to include mold in the City code was introduced during the Council’s Rules Committee meeting. Many city codes throughout the state already include mold as a health hazard in which landlords are responsible for protecting tenants from. The City of Yonkers now has the opportunity to prioritize the health of City residents over profiteering property owners. Council member Pineda-Isaac’s amendment calls upon Mayor Spano to safeguard tenant health from mold hazards so that they can finally be afforded the same basic protections provided to those in other cities within the state.