MIKE GETS A BIG HAMMER TO POUND ILLEGAL CONVERTERS
By FRANKIE EDOZIEN, NY POST
Mayor Bloomberg signed several bills into law yesterday toughening the enforcement powers of the Buildings Department - particularly against contractors who do illegal conversions and builders of one-, two- and three-family homes.
General contractors will now have to register with the department and those who violate the city's building codes could be excluded from the contracting industry in addition to facing fines.
Illegal conversion of industrial and manufacturing spaces to residential apartments can get the converters up to a year in jail.
In addition to jail time, fines begin at $5,000 then go up to $25,000. That's in addition to up to $500 a day for each illegally converted unit.
Bloomberg said the "demand for residential [space] seems like an insatiable demand but we have to have jobs in the city, too," and small businesses employ half the people in the city.