The Graffiti-Free NYC Program removes graffiti and other blight across the five boroughs.
NYCEDC initiated the Graffiti-Free NYC (GFNYC) Program in 1999, the first full-time, street-by-street graffiti removal service in New York City. The program began in Brooklyn, and early success prompted its expansion to the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Graffiti-Free NYC is the first and only New York City-wide graffiti removal program, and works as a cooperative effort between NYCEDC, The New York City Department of Sanitation, and the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit.
To request graffiti removal service, submit a claim or call 3-1-1.
The Goals of Graffiti-Free NYC:
- Provide no-cost graffiti removal for affected commercial, residential, and industrial properties throughout New York City
- Create challenging and skill-enhancing jobs for low-to-moderate income residents
- Enhance overall neighborhood aesthetics in order to improve the business climate, increase property values, and create goodwill throughout communities
Since the program's inception, more than 170-million-square-feet of surface area have been cleared of graffiti throughout the five boroughs.
Graffiti Removal Tools
Graffiti-Free NYC employs unique equipment that removes 10 times more graffiti than traditional methods at one-tenth of the cost. NYCEDC's graffiti-fighting tools include new mobile painting and power washing equipment that provides the flexibly to quickly address graffiti on nearly all New York City surfaces.
Graffiti-Free NYC expanded its fleet from 13 to 23 graffiti removal vehicles. These newer, smaller, and more neighborhood-friendly vehicles are equipped to both paint and power wash buildings and structures covered with graffiti.
Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone can report graffiti on any property in New York City. Dial 3-1-1 and the City will mail a Notice of Intent to Remove graffiti to the property's address, as well as to the owner's address (if different from the property in question). Once the notice is delivered, the property owner or representative will have 35 days to contact the City to decline graffiti removal services or request an extension. If the property owner or representative takes no action within 35 days, the City will remove the graffiti free of charge. If you witness a graffiti-related crime in progress, or notice existing graffiti that you believe is a gang or hate sign, dial 9-1-1 to be connected with the NYPD's Citywide Vandals Task Force.
Property owners or their authorized representatives may also dial 3-1-1, but are encouraged to complete and submit a Forever Graffiti Free Form to ensure the fastest service. Once on file, the form will enable rapid response by the Street Conditions Observation Unit to address existing and/or future graffiti reported on your property without a 35-day waiting period. Owners and their representatives can expedite service by completing the online consent form.
Printable versions (in PDF) are available below. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader to view PDFs.
Forever Graffiti Free Form (English)
Forever Graffiti Free Form (Spanish)
Forever Graffiti Free Form (Mandarin)
Power Washing vs Paint
Graffiti-Free NYC power washes graffiti from non-painted building surfaces (i.e., natural stone, brick, concrete, etc.) and paints over graffiti on painted building surfaces. Please specify whether power washing or painting is required when speaking with a representative or while completing the Forever Graffiti Free Form.
What is Power Washing?
We first apply a low-concentration potassium hydroxide solution - mild enough to not endanger plants or animals - approved for use by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. After applying the solution, a high-pressure water hose is used to wash the graffiti from the building. Each Graffiti-Free NYC vehicle is equipped with power washing equipment.
If Graffiti is Located on a Storefront's Roll-Down Gate...
Please tell a representative and/or indicate on the Forever Graffiti Free form if the graffiti is located on a roll-down gate so crews can try to remove it before morning.
If Graffiti is Located Above the First Floor of the Building...
Please tell a representative and/or indicate on the Forever Graffiti Free form the approximate floor where graffiti is located. Graffiti-Free NYC is currently equipped to remove graffiti up to 30 feet above street level. We are currently looking into methods for removing graffiti located higher than 30 feet.
If Graffiti is Only Accessible from an Interior Courtyard, Backyard or Beyond a Gate...
Please tell a representative and/or indicate on the Forever Graffiti Free form if any one of these situations applies, and we will attempt to contact the property owner or authorized representative to obtain permission and instructions needed to access the graffiti.
How Does Graffiti-Free NYC Determine Schedule and Routes?
Graffiti removal is scheduled based on the date on which we receive the request. Service routes are designed to minimize travel time and maximize productivity in order to service a large number of properties per day.
Due to a high-volume of clients, we will not respond immediately to individual requests. Instead, we build new requests into existing graffiti removal routes.
How Do I Check the Status of My Request?
Visit the Graffiti-Free NYC search page on www.nyc.gov, and enter the address of the property in question.
Does Graffiti-Free NYC Remove Murals?
No. It is the current policy of Graffiti-Free NYC to not remove murals. If we receive a request for removal of a mural, we will contact the property owner for more information, and refer the matter to the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit for further investigation.
Other Questions About Graffiti-Free NYC
If you have questions not answered here, email us directly at GraffitiFreeNYC@nycedc.com.