Sunday, July 1, 2018
East New York to be a basement conversion "guinea pig"
From CBS 2:
“We’ll use East New York as the guinea pig of how this program can work and whether or not it will work,” said Councilman Rafael Espinal, who sponsored the pilot program. “If we’re able to create a successful program, then the hope is that we'll expand it citywide.”
The councilman said in East New York, 75 percent of basement apartments are being rented illegally, which he said is dangerous. So the pilot program will offer homeowners low-interest loans to renovate apartments to make sure they are safe.
Espinal told Kramer he worked with the FDNY and Department of Buildings to develop standards, making sure the apartments have sprinklers, adequate exits, windows and ventilation.
“There’s concerns about, for example, the fact that we have boilers and furnaces in the basement. The bill will allow for homeowners to wall-off those furnaces,” he said.
I'm sure East New York enjoys being referred to as a "guinea pig". Seriously, what elected official talks like this about a neighborhood, and to a reporter no less? And what 2-family homeowner is going to take out a loan to install sprinklers when they can just continue renting out their basements illegally for tax-free $$$ the way 75% of their neighbors do?
Did we land in Oz?