After reviewing real estate listings on Craigslist.org (an internet classified posting service), Juniper Park Civic Association president, Robert Holden contacted Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri about the many illegal apartments being advertised on the site. There were dozens of basement apartments and other illegal rentals listed.
Additionally it appears that several Maspeth and Middle Village landlords are turning their houses into illegal hotels. Single Room Occupancies (SRO’s) are dangerous and illegal and have resulted in many fire deaths.
On April 14th, Holden informed Commissioner LiMandri of the postings and suggested that the Department of Buildings (DOB) set up a special undercover building inspectors to answer the ads. Holden wrote, “After several fines are issued, DOB should then issue a press release informing the public that they are gaining access to illegal apartments through Craigslist. Commissioner LiMandri thought it was a “great idea’ and gave the assignment to Vincent Grippo, LiMandri’s Chief of Staff. Grippo wrote back to Holden that the DOB is setting up a special enforcement program to address the Craigslist postings.
Acting on Department of Buildings requests, the Juniper Park Civic Association has been supplying links to the illegal postings. We will keep you updated on developments.