Two days before she was to give her first State of the Borough address Thursday, Melinda Katz said Queens needs more schools, more affordable housing and more quality jobs, among other priorities, while calling on the city to consider creating new zoning districts for basement apartments.
“Illegal conversions lack safety,” Katz said at a news briefing in Borough Hall Tuesday. “The problem is that we have no more housing and we need to live, and we need to make these converted spaces safe.”
She said Queens has a 46 percent of foreign-born population, and in this growing borough, “we can’t build fast enough, although this is a good problem to have as long as we can catch up.”
The borough president will ask the city Department of Buildings to look at the possibility of legalizing more basement apartments, “creating new areas for conversions.”