Hoarding Disorder - the compulsive need to collect and keep possessions, animals, or even trash - is estimated to affect as much as five percent of the population. In New York City where neighbors share walls, a hoarding resident often becomes a community problem. Fires, odors, roaches, bedbugs, mice, and other pests flourish in hoarding conditions, and can all travel from one apartment to another and quickly compromise the health and safety of everyone in the building. Friends and family of a hoarding resident may be aware of a problem, but unsure about how to help their loved one; building managers may first become aware of a hoarder when the super attempts to make a repair and is either denied access to the apartment, or finds that the kitchen or bathroom is blocked by ceiling-high stacks of paper or trash. Boards may first become aware of a problem when they receive complaints from the neighbors of hoarding tenants - and by then, the situation is often dire.
On Wednesday, May 25 from 7-9pm, City Tech at the City University of New York (CUNY) Continuing Studies Center is hosting a free online community workshop, Managing Hoarding Disorder in Residential Buildings, to give managers and boards practical guidance to better navigate this complex, emotionally loaded situation. Peter Grech, City Tech's Building Superintendent Manager course instructor and longtime president of the New York Superintendents' Technical Association (STA), will lead the virtual workshop, drawing on his 40-year career as a resident multifamily building manager to outline solutions to this all-too-common problem. He will discuss cooperative and condominium regulations, protections provided by the federal Fair Housing Act and New York Adult Protective Services, and strategies for locating and working with an OCD/hoarding disorder specialist. To register, visit: https://www.citytechce.org/ahi-hoarding-disorder-in-residential-buildings.html.