City Raises Minimum Heating Requirements

New York City apartments will be warmer at night next winter, under a law signed May 30 by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The measure, conceived by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and sponsored by City Councilmember Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn, raises the minimum temperature required between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. from 55°F to 62°.

“I don’t think many people realize just how cold that is,” Williams said of the 55-degree standard. “There are a lot of seniors and young people who cannot deal with 55 degrees, which ends up exposing them to health risks.”

The bill, Intro 0722, also removes the requirement that the outdoor temperature has to be 40° or lower before landlords have to heat the building to the minimum. It will go into effect when the city’s heating season begins on Oct. 1. The heating requirements stay in effect through May 31. During last winter’s season, the city received 65,000 lack-of-heat complaints. 

“It’s important that seniors have the right temperature because they are the ones suffering, and it lead to other kinds of health issues,” Lenox Hudson, vice president of the Midwood Senior Center in Brooklyn, said in a statement. “No one should have to live like this.”