Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Illegal conversions now official

From the NY Times:

The woman on the first floor hung a sheer white curtain across the middle of the room, to divide the space with the bed from the space with the table and chairs.

Guadalupe and her husband, Pedro, pay $650 a month for the illegally partitioned room they call home in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The room where she and her husband live is about 23 feet long and 11 feet wide. They pay $650 a month, plus electricity. Their room has been illegally converted into living quarters in a three-story apartment building in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

According to city records, the building’s certificate of occupancy allows for five families in five units. But with rooms in the basement and other floors rented out, 9 to 12 families live there. The woman, Guadalupe, 49, asked that her last name and address not be published, for fear of being forced out of the place she and her husband, both immigrants from Veracruz, Mexico, have called home since November.

The room in Bushwick is one of thousands just like it in immigrant neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. These rooms form a secret world of New York City housing: hidden from public view, unregulated and, too often, unsafe.

Often, little construction is required. Tenants or landlords simply put locks on bedroom doors to rent them out as rooms. Residents of illegal units sometimes pay not for rooms but for the use of mattresses in those rooms, in a practice known as “hot sheeting.” It means several people share a bed at different times of the day.


Well, I've been posting about this type of thing for awhile, but now that it's been featured in the paper of record during an election year, it's officially an embarrassing problem for the City. Let's see if they do anything about it.

19 comments:

Lino said...

Let's put blame where it lies: landlords who permit this in order to get unrealistic rents and businessmen who go for the cheaper labor and docile employees who won't complain.

Every landlord who buys one of these depressing little buildings at an inflated price knows that he intends to "pack 'em in". The same with all those private houses that have illegal basement warrens.

"Let's see if they do anything about it."

They'll do as much as the police over in Bangkok do about prostitution -and for the same reasons.

Anonymous said...

The brother of a childhood friend of mine died in an illegal attic apartment when the temperature skyrocketed during a hot summer and he was cooked alive.

I worked the test census for Western Queens in 2000 and landlords were renting out multiple apartments created in the boiler and utility areas of their buildings, conveniently located next to Carbon monoxide-creating boilers, God knows how you would get out in a fire.

When people die this way, murder, not manslaughter charges, need to be brought and money and property confiscated.

Taxpayer said...

"The woman, Guadalupe, 49, asked that her last name and address not be published, for fear of being forced out of the place she and her husband, both immigrants from Veracruz, Mexico, have called home since November."

" ... both immigrants from Mexico"

Yeah! Immigrants. Leave it to the Times to keep lying. They are illegal aliens. They likely have children. The alien children are likely here too. Likely crowding the schools, too, unable to speak English, read or write or graduate.

But, who cares if they all die? These aliens are so expendable. So replaceable. Who cares about them as long as the work gets done, the wealthy are content and the obscene profits are rolling in?

Do you want an alien of your own? To do your chores, carry the heavy stuff? Obey your every command?

Use your basement. The furnace or laundry room. Don't want them inside the house? Block off a space in the garage. Make them get their own blankets. If they have kids, get them out of the way all day by sticking them in some school nearby. You don't even have to lie about them. The school gets federal funds for attendance, not for education.

You will be a hero to the Commissar Death and Taxes.

italian girl said...

"hot sheeting"? -


eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww

Anonymous said...

I own a building in Astoria, Queens. I had a tenant put up an illegal wall. We took her to housing court and the Judge do nothing. We went to the local Fire House and asked to make a report. They told us we had to go to Lefrak and make a report. No one seemed to care. I definately didn't want any of my apartments divided, not did I want a tenant "playing landlord" with my building. Eventually, the Fire Dep't showed up and made sure the wall was gone, but the most galling thing was how Housing didn't do a damn thing. Don't always blame the landlords.

Wade Nichols said...

Let's see if they do anything about it.

You know, and I know, that they will do nada, until a horrible tragedy happens again. Happy Land Social Club anyone? What about the fire at the home of the illegal immigrant polygamist member of "the religion of peace" in the Bronx from a few years ago?

Nothing will be done until Bloomie loses a relative. Then we will see a SWAT team formed to investigate housing violations.

Anonymous said...

About a year ago, someone came onto Queens Crap and insisted on posting extensively on numerous posts, informing us that the largest number of illegal aliens came not from Mexico, but from the United Kingdom. I guess that was intended to shock all of us Archie Bunkers, and make us realize that we were actually the very problem we were complaining about. Whatever. Whether that statistic is valid or not (it very well could be, but an illegal alien is an illegal alien), it got me thinking. Why then, are all the illegal alien sob stories from the Times and their ilk, always about the poor starry-eyed Mexicans, who only came here for "a better life and their piece of the American dream"?

Anonymous said...

My condolences to the landlord with the idiot tenants. Unfortunately, you prove my point. Like it or not, it's your building and your responsibility. Because you take your responsibilities seriously lives may be saved.

Anonymous said...

These rooms form a secret world of New York City housing: hidden from public view, unregulated and, too often, unsafe.

Glad to see this in the NYT as the city knows that it is not a so secret world of New York City housing because so many complaints about this type house is dangerious, illegal by definition of the DOB and conventional code. The City all but ignores these complaints, does not cite the building owner whom create an unsafe situation especially in fire threats and to the general deterioation of entire neighborhoods by affecting safety, sanitation, noise, school overcrowding, cleanyness and recreation for formerly low density neighborhoods. Landlords and owners need to comply to DOB, pay taxes on undeclared earnings on rent and maintain frontage.
If folks are illegal they should not live here in this manner. Landlords should be heavily fined for aiding and abetting criminals to live in their properties in exchange for money or services. They should be on the hook with DOB as well and pay fines going back to the first day of accomadating a criminal.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel that we should all get a copy of Jacob Riis's book, "How the Other Half Lives."

After a century of effort by men like Teddy Roosevelt, Al Smith, Fiorella LaGuardia, the countless unsung union organizers galvanized by the Triangle Shirtwaist catastrophe,etc. we are bringing it all back. Who cares if people are burned alive, poisoned, or ruined as long as we profit from it.

America has gone down, down, down.

Miles Mullin said...

After a century of effort by men like Teddy Roosevelt, Al Smith, Fiorella LaGuardia, the countless unsung union organizers galvanized by the Triangle Shirtwaist catastrophe,etc. we are bringing it all back. Who cares if people are burned alive, poisoned, or ruined as long as we profit from it.
--------

My point exactly with schools like Pratt, Columbia, etc and the mainline preservation community protecting those areas where the illegal landlords and contractors lives.

I see HDC and MAS doing jack shit about this.

Bastards.

(Oh I get it: "if it doesn't happen in Brooklyn Heights its not important")

Anonymous said...

Illegal conversions kill and injure innocent people. Firefighters have lost their lives trying to fight fires in buildings that have been restructured to accommodate far more individuals than the certificate of occupancy allows. Let the owners of these buildings be held criminally liable.

After this morning's fire in Chinatown, there should be a massive crackdown with zero tolerance of any violation of the Building Code. Let the building inspectors examine every square inch of this city and let unscrupulous landlords face the consequences for their greed and contempt for the rest of us.

I would not expect to go to a foreign country and be allowed to exploit and disregard their laws. Let the immigrants learn to obey our laws. We must avoid importing the poverty that these individuals leave behind in Mexico and other countries that lack the protective laws that the U.S. offers.

Anonymous said...

And now they want to give these ILLEGAL persons mortgages???

Home mortgage relief for millions of illegals

Obama's program provides $275 billion to assist homeowners facing foreclosure

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=89967

Missing Foundation said...

After this morning's fire in Chinatown, there should be a massive crackdown with zero tolerance of any violation of the Building Code.
-------

Yes, I am ready to hear from the preservation community and schools like Pratt to come out forcefully against this.

"If it doesn't happen in Brooklyn Heights it doesn't happen at all."

-Joe said...

Yep originally both the releif AND the construction jobs were for for US Citizens.

The Democrats like Ted Kennedy got it removed from the bill.
The President and all the idiots didnt read (or want to see) all the pages

If the banks did business with them they are in !

The illegels got the biggest JACKPOT reward in the history of the country since they make up 70% of these bad mortgages.

What a royal piss on the people that were legit and paid their bills.
Their saved dollars are worth half.

Anonymous said...

La Raza is going wild, claiming "Obama is god" in a huge victory


Illegal aliens and familys qualify for government financial help to avoid foreclosure under Barack Obama's recently enacted economic stimulus plan. In that plan, $275 million is set aside to help "homeowners" avoid foreclosure.

When the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" began, it turned out that banks had given mortgages to about 5 million illegal aliens and it was primarily those mortgages that defaulted, causing the ENTIRE financial catastrophe we are still experiencing.

Now, the very people who caused the financial meltdown, are poised to get free money from the government!!!! This is insane.

The government of the United States has Oficially gone insane !!!
Illegal aliens can qualify for government financial help to avoid foreclosure under Barack Obama's recently enacted economic stimulus plan. In that plan, $275 million is set aside to help "homeowners" avoid foreclosure.

When the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" began, it turned out that banks had given mortgages to about 5 million illegal aliens and it was primarily those mortgages that defaulted, causing the ENTIRE financial catastrophe we are still experiencing.

Now, the very people who caused the financial meltdown, are poised to get free money from the government!!!! This is insane.

Obama and the government of the United States has literally gone insane.

They are a danger to themselves and citizens and must be restrained.

Anonymous said...

There were provisions in the House version of this bill, which would prevent any illegals from getting money or jobs from the stimulus.

The senate refused to add such, and when it went to the compromise - all the language was dropped.

Obama signed it before the public even knew.

Anonymous said...

Actualy illegal conversions are not legal in Queens. Actualy over 1,000 vacates in Queens last year.
Public information you ignorant fools.

Anonymous said...

Can you even read? No one said they were legal (hence the term "illegal conversions"), they just happen with frequency here and not much is done about them.