May 30, 2024

New York City Appoints Kathleen Corradi as First-Ever “Rat Czar” to Reduce Rat Population and Create a Cleaner City

Kathleen Corradi appointed as the city's first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation
Kathleen Corradi appointed as the city's first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced the appointment of Kathleen Corradi as the city’s first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation, also known as the “rat czar.” Corradi will work across city government agencies, community organizations, and the private sector to reduce the rat population in New York City, creating a cleaner and more welcoming environment for all New Yorkers. The announcement also includes a $3.5 million investment in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone starting in Fiscal Year 2023, covering Community Boards 9, 10, and 11.

Corradi, who has a background in science and expertise in rodent mitigation, will lead and implement a unified strategy to reduce rats in neighborhoods across the city’s five boroughs. She will focus on innovative ways to cut off rats’ food sources and test and deploy new technologies to detect and exterminate rat populations. Corradi will also harness the expertise and operational capacity of several city agencies, including the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the New York City Housing Authority, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York City Department of Sanitation, in addition to private sector partners.

Mayor Adams has described rats as “public enemy number one” and recognizes that rats are more than just a quality-of-life issue. They are a symbol of systemic issues that have long plagued New Yorkers, particularly low-income and communities of color. Corradi’s appointment and the investment in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone represent a significant step towards a cleaner and more equitable New York City.

The investment in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone will cover 28 NYCHA properties, 73 NYC Parks locations, nearly 70 DOE schools, and over 10,000 private properties. It will accelerate critical rat mitigation work in Harlem and test new and emerging technologies to fight rats. The city will also offer Harlem-specific rat academies in Community Boards 9, 10, and 11 in the coming months to educate New Yorkers on how to prevent rats.

New Yorkers can also take action to prevent rats in their neighborhoods by adhering to common-sense tips such as keeping homes clean and secure trash, destroying potential rat homes, and covering or destroying earthen rat burrows.

The rat czar’s appointment and the investment in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone represent a significant step towards a cleaner and more equitable New York City.

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