The state attorney general is launching new efforts to fight harassment by landlords, deceptive lending practices and other housing-related abuses.

Eric T. Schneiderman’s office announced Thursday that its Real Estate Finance Bureau will expand to handle civil cases such as tenant harassment.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Brent Meltzer, who works with New York City Housing and Preservation Development and will move to the attorney general’s office on Aug. 1, will lead the effort.

In addition, Schneiderman said special counsel John Spagna will lead a new real estate enforcement unit within the criminal division. The unit will focus on bank fraud, deed theft and related issues.

The attorney general in a statement said the measures are necessary to create more legal tools to protect New Yorkers from “unscrupulous landlords and scofflaws in the housing industry.”