September 10, 2019

Speaker Heastie Statement on New York City's Announcement to Relieve Homeowners of the Cost of Repairing Sidewalks Damaged by City Trees

While knocking on doors and visiting with my constituents, it became clear that bureaucracy and a flawed system have been posing a significant hardship on city homeowners. Since then, I have fought tirelessly to develop a solution to this problem because homeowners are the heart and soul of our communities, and have invested their hard earned savings to put their roots down here.

Today I joined the mayor to announce the city will no longer impose liens on one, two and three family properties that have sidewalk damage caused by city trees. The City of New York has done the right thing by relieving homeowners of the financial burdens they have incurred through no fault of their own.

The Department of Transportation and the Parks Department will continue to inspect for dangerous sidewalk conditions, but the city, not the homeowners, will now be responsible for fixing damage caused by city trees.

The city will also review the 50,000 existing notices of violation to determine if they were caused exclusively by city trees, and cancel the lien for any that meet those criteria. If the homeowner of the qualifying property is selling or refinancing their home, the city will expedite this re-evaluation.

I would like to thank my Assembly Majority colleagues and Mayor de Blasio for their commitment to this issue. This will undoubtedly be a great relief to hardworking New York City homeowners.