Additional Services

Graffiti-Free NYC

The Graffiti-Free NYC Program removes graffiti and other blight across the five boroughs.

In 1999, NYCEDC initiated the Graffiti-Free NYC (GFNYC) Program, the first full-time, street-by-street graffiti removal service in the City of New York. The program began in Brooklyn and early success prompted its expansion to the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. Graffiti-Free NYC is now the first and only city-wide graffiti removal program in New York City and works as a cooperative effort between NYCEDC, The New York City Department of Sanitation and The Mayor's Office's Community Affairs Unit.

The goals of Graffiti-Free NYC are to:

  • 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, and;
  • Enhance overall neighborhood aesthetics to improve the business climate, increase property values and create goodwill throughout New York City's local communities.

Since the program's inception, more than 170 million square feet of surface area have been cleaned of graffiti throughout the five boroughs.

Read this City Hall press release, Citywide Graffiti Cleanup Initiative, to learn more about Mayor Bloomberg's commitment to city-wide graffiti removal efforts.

Graffiti Free New York Brochure in English and Spanish

Graffiti Removal Tools

Graffiti-Free NYC employs unique equipment that removes ten times more graffiti than traditional methods and at one-tenth of the cost. NYCEDC's graffiti fighting tools include new mobile painting and power-washing equipment that provide the flexibly to quickly address graffiti on nearly all surface types in New York City.

Graffiti-Free NYC recently expanded its fleet from 13 to 23 graffiti removal vehicles. These newer, smaller, more neighborhood-friendly vehicles are equipped to both paint and power-wash buildings and other structures covered with graffiti.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Graffiti-Free NYC Work?

Anyone can report graffiti on any property in New York City. Simply call 3-1-1 and The City will mail a Notice of Intent to Remove graffiti to the property's address as well as the owner's address if different from the property in question. Once the notice is delivered, the property owner/representative will have 35 days to contact The City to decline graffiti removal services or request an extension. If the property owner/representative takes no action within 35 days, we will remove the graffiti free of charge. If you are witnessing a graffiti crime in progress or existing graffiti you believe is a gang or hate sign, call 9-1-1 and you will be routed to NYPD's Citywide Vandals Task Force.

Property owners or their authorized representatives may also call 3-1-1 but are encouraged to complete and submit a Forever Graffiti Free Form to The City to ensure the fastest service. Once on file, the Forever Graffiti Free form enables rapid response to both existing and any future graffiti reported on your property to 3-1-1 or by The City's Street Conditions Observation Unit without any 35 day waiting period. Owners and their representatives should complete the E-Form in order to further expedite service. 

Printable versions are in .pdf format. If you are unable to open .pdf files, you will need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

What type of service do I want?

  • Power-wash or Paint?
    Graffiti-Free NYC power-washes graffiti from non-painted building surfaces (e.g. natural stone, brick or concrete) and paints over graffiti on painted building surfaces. When calling 3-1-1 or completing the Forever Graffiti Free form, please specify if power-wash is required or the original color of the wall, if painted.
  • The Graffiti is Located on a Storefront's Roll-Down Shutters.
    Please indicate to either 3-1-1 or on the Forever Graffiti Free form if the graffiti is located on a roll-down shutter so our crews may attempt to remove it before the shutters are opened in the morning.
  • The Graffiti is Located Above the First Floor of the Building.
    Please indicate to either 3-1-1 or on the Forever Graffiti Free form the approximate floor number on which the graffiti is located. While Graffiti-Free NYC is currently only equipped to remove graffiti up to 10 feet from street level, we are seeking cost-effective methods for addressing graffiti on elevated surfaces.
  • The Graffiti is Only Accessible from an Interior Courtyard, Backyard or Beyond a Gate
    Please indicate to either 3-1-1 or 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 permissions and instructions needed to access the graffiti.

What is power-washing?

Power-washing is the method we use to remove graffiti from non-painted surfaces, usually natural stone, brick or concrete. We first apply a low-concentration potassium hydroxide solution, which is strong enough to break-up the graffiti but mild enough to pose no danger to plants or animals. After applying the solution, we use a high-pressure water hose to wash the graffiti from the building. Graffiti-Free utilizes a solution approved for this use by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Each Graffiti-Free NYC vehicle is equipped with power-washing equipment.

How does graffiti-free NYC determine schedule & routes?

Work is scheduled for a given property based on the date on which The City receives a request for graffiti removal. Service routes are designed to minimize each crew's travel time between sites, thereby increasing their productivity and capacity to service the maximum number of properties each day.

Due to the volume of graffiti removal requests, we do not respond immediately to each individual request. Instead, we build new requests into existing graffiti removal routes.

How do I check the status of a graffiti removal request?

To check the status of a graffiti removal request, visit the Graffiti-Free NYC location search page on nyc.gov and enter the address of the property in question.

Does graffiti-free NYC remove murals?

It is the current policy of Graffiti-Free NYC not to remove murals. If we receive a request for removal of a mural, our current policy is to contact the property owner for information regarding the mural and refer the matter to The Mayor's Office's Community Affairs Unit for further investigation.

What if I have other questions about graffiti-free NYC?

or additional answers, visit the frequently asked questions page on nyc.gov. If you have a specific question that is not answered on this page, email us directly at GraffitiFreeNYC@nycedc.com.

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