Certain basement apartments in East New York will be transformed into legal and affordable homes thanks to a new law signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday. The legislation creates a three-year pilot program that helps homeowners renovate cellar and basement units to meet the new code standards, which include minimum ceiling heights, window sizes, and proper safety requirements. “There are thousands of basement apartments in our City, but too many are illegal and unsafe,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This program will help New Yorkers secure safe, affordable homes and give homeowners a new legal source of income.”
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Mayor Bill de Blasio in June announced the city would help landlords create and renovate legal basement and cellar apartments in Brooklyn. This includes making the apartments up to code by ensuring proper safety requirements and windows, among other modifications. As a part of the pilot program, homeowners can apply for the basement pilot program through a city-approved, community-based organization. “This program will increase the stock of affordable housing in East New York, provide additional income to homeowners, and ensure tenant safety,” de Blasio said. The deadline for the basement conversion program is August 15 (h/t City Limits).
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A study released Thursday by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) suggests that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiatives to ease the city’s housing woes should include a program that would convert the 38,000 or so basements in the city’s single-family homes without having to make big changes to city or state laws. As Crain’s reports, the study is part of the CHPC’s Making Room initiative that explores how alternative housing typologies can better meet the needs of New York’s diverse households. The council introduced the study by stating their belief that “based on the ﬁndings we present here, that a basement conversion program in New York City would be an eﬃcient and exciting way to add residential density and expand housing choices in our expensive and highly constrained urban market.”
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