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 The woman, Guadalupe, 49, asked that her last name and address not be published, for fear of being forced out of the place she and her husband, both immigrants from Veracruz, Mexico, have called home since November.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