Friday, November 27, 2009

Illegal conversions worst in Queens

From the Queens Courier:

From the barrio to the tree-lined streets of upscale neighborhoods all over Queens, thousands of people live in danger. They live in illegal apartments.

In the worst cases, unscrupulous building owners partition off houses into multiple apartments – sometimes as many as eight units in a two-story structure, even cramming living spaces in the attic and cellar.

Frequently, there is only a single exit for as many as four rooms – a narrow hallway that can be blocked by fire or smoke. This was the case in a November 7 fire in Woodside that claimed the lives of three Bangladeshi immigrants and left three, including the building owner, with serious injuries.

Firefighters, who search for possible victims in these labyrinthine deathtraps, encounter unnecessary risk. Sometimes they pay the price for a landlord’s greed.

Beyond the obvious danger caused by illegal conversions of homes into apartment buildings, there are other problems. The clandestine increase in population density impacts the quality of life – from overcrowded schools, to street congestion and parking problems, to strains on water, sewer and sanitation.

“Each year we receive thousands of complaints about illegal conversions and make thousands of inspections,” said Tony Sclafani, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

Queens has the largest number of illegal conversion complaints in the city, according to Sclafani. “The style of home construction lends itself to illegal conversion,” he said.

Well then, it appears the laws need to be changed with regards to what kind of dwellings can be constructed. But since the council people depend on developer cash, don't hold your breath.


Anonymous said...

I moved into a legal 3 family in moddle village a few years ago.

well after i rrived i found out my landlord also had her schmuck of a cousin lving in the basement illegally.

so i moved because i felt itwas a fire hazard. i was not surprised by the recent fatal fire in woodside and i am sure there will be more similar avoidable fires like that one in the future

Anonymous said...

Zoning and CO already determine the legality of a structure. It is the vetting process - approval of a CO and the inspection of a building that is at fault - the City DOB that is the problem.

Anonymous said...

If the government clamped down on illegl immigration, you would not have overcrowding. These are the people that are looking for cheap housing and middle class taxpayers, who feel the squeeze of all these new taxes, are happy to accommodate them for the cash in illegal conversions. Until the government gets serious about immigration, the overcrowding and overdevelopment will continue and the middle class will flee to lower taxed states.

Anonymous said...

Se renta cuarto
35-30 153rd street

I couldn't find the apartment number but someone could surely call and find out more. I would report these people but I live in the building and they would probably get a guess it's me. This is the building on northern boulevard and 153rd street adjacent to the KFC.

Note that this is head quarters of all those MS-13 clowns who tried to assassinate the FBI/ICE agent. There's at least 1,200 people living in a building that only supposed to house maybe 400-700.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bloomberg: