Earlier this Month, Governor Expanded Investigation into Five Star Management after Allegations of Bedbug Infestations and Drug Related Crime at Numerous Buildings Managed by the Company
State Health Department Performing Environmental Health Assessments
State Office of Rent Administration Investigating Whether Rent Regulated Apartments are Being Adequately Maintained
Office of Addiction Services and Supports to Investigate Improper Practices by Acacia Network
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to investigate reports of eviction threats by Five Star Management and Acacia Network, a social services provider in New York City. A tenant at the building was reportedly told they could lose their lease if they continue to make formal complaints about substandard living conditions. In October, the Governor directed state agencies to investigate one of Five Star's buildings following allegations of bedbug infestations and drug related crime, and earlier this month, the Governor directed state agencies to expand their investigation to include all buildings run by the management company, following further allegations of unacceptable living conditions at a number of the company's properties.
"This harassment, if true, is unacceptable, undeserved and intolerable. All New Yorkers deserve a safe and decent place to call home and threatening those seeking to fight for that is contrary to who we are as a state," Governor Cuomo said. "In addition to the previously announced investigations, I am directing the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, which provides funding for services at this building, to immediately get to the bottom of this situation and help ensure that these practices are not replicated in other properties."
Last month, the Governor directed the State Department of Health to send an inspection team into the first Bronx building that was the subject of allegations to perform an environmental health assessment to ensure health standards are being met. The Governor also directed the state Office of Rent Administration to investigate whether rent-regulated units in the apartment complex are being adequately maintained; if they are not, the building owner can be penalized for violation of state rent laws. Additionally, the Governor directed these agencies to make any referrals to the Inspector General and appropriate law enforcement as to any wrongdoing they uncover with respect to the building's management company Five Star Management and social services provider Acacia Network. While the State has no contracts related to this particular building, it may have other unrelated contracts with Acacia Network or Five Star Management. The State Police is in communication with the NYPD about allegations of drug related crime at the Bronx building.
Governor Cuomo has also directed relevant agencies to look into state contracts and state funding with the social services provider, Acacia Network and the management company Five Star Management. Should the agency investigations uncover misuse of state dollars or other malfeasance, referrals will be made to the inspector general or appropriate law enforcement.