Saturday, January 12, 2013

City helps legalize illegal contractors

From Crains:

For immigrant contractors working in Flushing, Queens, many of whom speak broken English at best, jobs have most often come from within their own Chinese community: remodeling one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in the neighborhood, improving basements, perhaps adding patios or terraces to stand-alone homes. Many of the Mandarin-speaking craftsmen work without city licenses, risking fines of up to $250,000 if they're caught by city inspectors.

Since last year, the city's grant program has had the effect of helping to rein in the off-the-books workforce and encourage so-called micro-entrepreneurs—who work for themselves or employ up to five people full-time—to play by the rules.

Last year, the Queens Economic Development Corp. won a $100,000 grant from the city's Economic Development Corp. to establish a training program. The result: 130 contractors, many of whom worked illegally in the past, passed the licensing test in Mandarin.

"Some of our contractors have now been successful getting contracts throughout the city now that they have a license and entering the mainstream market," said Franklin Mora, deputy director of the Queens Economic Development Corp.

The grant to the Queens nonprofit that paid for the training program was won in a competition run by the city and funded by Deutsche Bank.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the fear of paying a large fine be enough to be compelled people to play by the rules. Now we have to spend grant money to enforce N.Y.C. laws ?

Anonymous said...

Do they know anything about the hazards of what they handle?

Anonymous said...

Or the city could, you know, just stop labeling people trying to earn a living as "illegal contractors."

For those worried about liability, put the onus on the property owner for legal modifications and safe construction if the contractor is unlicensed, who can in turn sue the contractor for damages. Most would still prefer the guarantee of the license and proof of insurance, but others would rather take the risk in the belief they'll save a buck. Sometimes you get a deal, sometimes you get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

I remember the sinking apartment building on Roosevelt Ave.

You do get what you pay for !
More Queens Crap :-O

Anonymous said...

When you hire an unlicensed illegal contractor,
you will get what you paid for....SHIT & SHODDY work.

Anonymous said...

How can we trust these animals to come over here and understand out complex building codes, when they cant even read? How can we trust them to work with engineered structural, mechanical, and electrical systems when all they had back home were bricks made of mud? Where is their 'skill' coming from???

Anonymous said...

>> When you hire an unlicensed illegal contractor, you will get what you paid for....SHIT & SHODDY work.

If a contractor's work was shit & shoddy before the license, it will probably be the same afterwards.