| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Basement Apartment Pilot Project


IN A BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOOD AND THERE ARE LOTS OF OPINIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA. CBS 2 POLITICAL REPORTER MARCIA KRAMER HAS THE STORY. Reporter: EAST NEW YORK, BROOKLYN, HAS A LOT OF ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY HOMES WHICH IS WHY IT’S CHOSEN FOR A SPECIAL PILOT PROJECT TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE CITY CRYING OUT FOR SUCH PLACES BY TURNING CELLARS INTO APARTMENTS. THE SPONSOR IS RAFAEL ESPINAL. WE’LL USE EAST NEW YORK AS THE GUINEA PIG OF HOW THIS PROGRAM CAN WORK AND WHETHER OR NOT IT WILL WORK. IF WE ARE ABLE TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM, THEN THE HOPE IS THAT WE COULD EXPAND CITYWIDE. Reporter: THE COUNCILMAN SAYS THAT HERE IN EAST NEW YORK, 75% OF THE BASEMENT APARTMENTS ARE BEING RENTED ILLEGALLY, WHICH HE SAYS IS JUST NOT SAFE. SO THE PILOT PROGRAM WILL OFFER HOMEOWNERS LOW-INTEREST LOANS TO RENOVATE CELLAR APARTMENTS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE SAFE. THE COUNCILMAN WORKED WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS TO DEVELOP STANDARDS MAKING SURE THE APARTMENTS HAVE SPRINKLERS, ADEQUATE EXITS, WINDOWS AND VENTILATION. CONCERNS FOR EXAMPLE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE BOILERS AND FURNACES IN THE BASEMENT, THAT WILL ALLOW FOR HOMEOWNERS TO WALL OFF THOSE FURNACES. IT’S A GOOD IDEA. SOME PEOPLE DON’T USE THEIR BASEMENTS. WHY NOT RENT IT OUT? GIVE SOMEBODY A LIVING SPACE. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN BROOKLYN ARE BEING MOVED OUT. Reporter: IN ASTORIA, QUEENS, ANOTHER NEIGHBORHOOD WITH A LOT OF ONE- AND TWO- FAMILY HOMES THERE WAS MUCH LESS ENTHUSIASM. GOOD IDEA FOR THIS NEIGHBORHOOD? I DON’T THINK SO. IT’S NOT SAFE IN THE FIRST PLACE. BUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS ALREADY CROWDED. IMAGINE HAVING THE BASEMENT RENTED? GOING TO CAUSE A LOT OF PROBLEMS. WE ALREADY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE PARKING. I WOULDN’T WANT TO LIVE IN THE CELLAR. I WOULDN’T WANT TO RENT MINE OUT, EITHER. DON’T DO IT. NO NEED FOR IT. Reporter: THE CITY SAYS IF

Leave a Reply