New York City Council Header
File #: Int 0668-2011    Version: * Name: Providing assistance to seniors with bed bugs in their homes.
Type: Introduction Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Aging
On agenda: 9/8/2011
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to providing assistance to seniors with bed bugs in their homes.
Sponsors: Daniel Dromm , Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Mathieu Eugene, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Vincent J. Gentile, Sara M. Gonzalez, Robert Jackson, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowitz, Rosie Mendez, Michael C. Nelson, Diana Reyna, Deborah L. Rose, Albert Vann, Jumaane D. Williams, Ydanis A. Rodriguez, James Vacca, Peter A. Koo, Brad S. Lander, Charles Barron, Stephen T. Levin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, James G. Van Bramer, Daniel R. Garodnick, Eric A. Ulrich
Council Member Sponsors: 28
Int. No. 668
By Council Members Dromm, Arroyo, Brewer, Chin, Eugene, Ferreras, Gentile, Gonzalez, Jackson, James, Koppell, Koslowitz, Mendez, Nelson, Reyna, Rose, Vann, Williams, Rodriguez, Vacca, Koo, Lander, Barron, Levin, Mark-Viverito, Van Bramer, Garodnick and Ulrich
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to providing assistance to seniors with bed bugs in their homes.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Findings and Intent. The Department for the Aging (DFTA) promotes, administers and coordinates the development and provision of services for older New Yorkers to help them maintain their independence and participation in their communities. The New York City Bed Bug Advisory Board has found that beg bugs have become a serious issue for many New Yorkers, especially those least equipped to deal with them, and that bed bugs are a pest of public health importance due to the physical, emotional and psychological impact that they can have on those affected.  
The presence of bed bugs in New York City has increased dramatically in recent years and this increase seriously impacts senior citizens who often face difficulty carrying out the actions necessary to completely eradicate a bed bug infestation. Complete eradication of bed bugs is rarely achieved by chemical extermination alone and commonly requires, but is not limited to, disposing of infested items, moving items, washing clothes, sorting through papers and books, putting belongings in plastic bags, and cleaning hard to reach cracks in interior walls and ceilings, as well as electrical outlets. As a result of the high numbers of infestations and the intensive and repeated efforts required to eradicate an infestation, seniors are more likely to experience the negative physical, emotional, and psychological impacts of a bed bug infestation.
The health effects of bed bugs can be significant, despite the fact that bed bugs have never been shown to spread disease. The most significant health effects appear to be the onset of stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue caused by the presence of bed bugs in the home. These health effects are then amplified by the time and expense it takes to exterminate bed bugs successfully. Additionally, when bed bugs are present in the homes of those requiring home health care or other services, it is common that service providers will not provide services until the bed bugs are gone, thus denying some people of medical care and other needs.
The New York City Bed Bug Advisory Board found that if strong action is not taken quickly by the City, the impact of bed bugs on residents, business owners, and visitors will continue to increase, thereby increasing economic hardship and decreasing quality of life. Accordingly, the Council finds that it is necessary to provide senior citizens with assistance in combating bed bugs and that it is imperative that adequate and efficient bed bug extermination procedures are consistently and continuously implemented to meet the needs of the city's senior citizen population.        
§2. Section 2402 of the New York city charter is amended by amending subdivisions f and g and by adding a new subdivision h to read as follows:
f. to promulgate rules and regulations for the operation of facilities, services and programs under its jurisdiction; [and]
g. to maintain, operate and control such programs and facilities as may be necessary or required for the proper administration of the department[.]; and
h. to maintain, operate and control a program to provide effective assistance and support in the city for senior citizens with bed bug infestations in their dwelling to successfully eradicate such infestation, provided, however, that such assistance shall include the moving of furniture and heavy equipment, if necessary.  
  §3. This local law shall take effect ninety days after its enactment into law.   
LS 2161