Council Member Sanchez introduces building inspection, integrity bills after Billingsley Terrace collapse

The bills are expected to force the Department of Buildings to take a more proactive approach when inspecting buildings.

Samantha Chaney and News 12 Staff

Apr 25, 2024, 10:39 AM

Updated 80 days ago


Tenants of the partially collapsed building on Billingsley Terrace joined City Council Member Pierina Sanchez to introduce new efforts to prevent similar tragedies.
Officials say the new set of bills will force the Department of Buildings to take a more proactive approach when inspecting buildings. The legislation, called the Billingsley Structural Integrity Bill, aims to create stricter regulations and oversight for city buildings while holding landlords accountable.
The building on Billingsley Terrace collapsed back in December, putting over 170 people out of their homes. Although many of those tenants are back in their homes, tenants and Councilmember Sanchez say the inside of the building had been falling apart long before.
"This building had a history of issues elevator outages, illegal gas ovens in the basement, missing sidewalks, sheds and illegal conversions," said Sanchez.
The bill in question would require risk-based inspection programs, owners to send corrective plans of action within 10 days notice of a violation, limits to non-emergency work permits, and escalating civil penalties for failure to correct violations.
News 12 found a city violation on the building, of many, was issued in early November for deteriorated and broken mudsills - a support that rests directly below the base of a structure that the inspector said could leave it compromised. The DOB also issued violations to the building for failing to evaluate facade back in 2018. In total, the building currently has over 200 open violations just from 2024 alone.
Although the city's deputy mayor of operations says that didn’t necessarily make this building unsafe, that’s something Sanchez has been saying Bronx residents shouldn’t even have to worry about.

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