Are homeowners of Greenwich Village now being targeted by the Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD)? As of September 2018, a certificate of non-harassment is now required by the Department of Building (DOB) before being able to file for renovation permits and approve plans. If your home/building falls under this designation you have to pay $160.00 per apartment and wait 6 months to one year while the HPD conducts an investigation to ensure prior tenants weren’t harassed into involuntarily vacating their room of the SRO (single room occupancy) building within the last five years.
After the investigation is complete, a certificate of non-harassment will be issued. Areas that have long been assigned for this special designation are Harlem, Clinton, Hudson Yards and parts of the Lower East Side that are well known to have a cache of existing SROs.
In the early days, New York saw waves of impoverished immigrants and their tenement apartments cut up into single rooms that might house a whole family—hence the term single room occupancy or SRO.
After 5 years of construction, curiously, HPD at this late juncture has targeted 35 Perry Street (a six apartment co-op for the last 39 years) as the only brownstone in Greenwich Village with this designation. I’m sending this letter to bring attention to this undue burden that’s being placed on homeowners like me who are trying to restore our historic homes.