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Task force discusses drugs in housing.

An epidemic of drug deals transacted in both private and public residential apartment buildings is threatening the survival of housing in all five boroughs of New York City.

A task force of housing experts, community leaders and neighborhood advocates gathered at a free seminar to propose sweeping measures for addressing the crisis.

The panel discussion took place at the meeting hall in the House of the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, Manhattan. Afterwards, the task force distributed a report summarizing its recommendations.

Milton Mollen, former Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice and current chairman of the Bar Association's Committee on Housing and Urban Development, moderated the seminar. Speakers included David Muchnick, president of Bronx 2000; Joseph Rose, executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council; Ronay Menschel, chairwoman of the Phipps Houses Community Development Corp.; and Charles E. Ramos, supervising judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County.

The panelists recommended that:

* The state and city government declare drug dealing in and around public and private buildings a public emergency

* Existing statutes and ordinances for maintaining housing stock be amended to deal expressly with drug dealing

* The city increase funding to district attorneys to facilitate eviction proceedings against occupants arrested or searched by warrant for dope peddling

* The city establish a computerized database to record on-premises drug dealing for the benefit of owners and managing agents

* Housing court be authorized to handle on-the-premises narcotics activity

* The city invest its money and manpower to preserve public and private housing from drug dealers

Sponsors of the seminar are the Bar Association Committee on Housing and Urban Development, Committee on Housing Court and Committee on Lectures and Continuing Education, in conjunction with Phipps Houses and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council.

Last year, for example, city police arrested 1,116 people on narcotics charges in 603 buildings throughout the Bronx. Yet the borough is merely a microcosm of a city-wide epidemic of illegal drug activity in residential buildings.
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Title Annotation:housing experts join community leaders and neighborhood advocates at seminar in New York, New York to propose dramatic measures for dealing with drug crisis
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 9, 1993
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