Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Bill would legalize basement units citywide
City Council Member Brad Lander says he wants to make sure long-time residents like Thorne can stay in the community, while also providing affordable housing. It's why he's proposed a bill to help homeowners bring illegal basement units up to code.
"We just have been playing a sort of don't ask, don't tell game and that's not good for anybody," said Lander.
Under his proposal, homeowners would receive low interest, subsidized, or forgivable loans depending on their income level. That money would be used transform basements into legal apartments with the help of the Department of Buildings.
In exchange, current or future tenants will receive leases with renewal clauses and affordable rent increases.
"If the house is in proper standard with the basement and pass all it's examination it could be done," said Thorne. "If it fails, it should be out."
If the pilot program is approved it will roll out in East New York sometime next year. If it's successful, it will likely roll out to the rest of the city shortly after.