Dangerous, But Useful: Illegal Apartments

Illegal apartments present a quandary for the city of New York: they increase the danger of fire, but also provide needed shelter that couldn't be found elsewhere. Some experts think a path to legalization could work.

Patrick Arden reports that over the last fiscal year, "the city received 18,000 complaints about illegal dwellings in 13,000 properties."

Arden writes:

"Enforcement will never eliminate the underground housing market, said Sarah Watson, a senior policy analyst at CHPC, who noted that increased fines have not lessened the illegal housing stock. "It's too widespread," she explained. "There's no doubt the path forward is difficult politically, but we need to recognize that there's a mismatch between the types of housing we have and the ways we're really living today."

Thanks to Nekoro Gomes

Full Story: Crackdown on Conversions Confronts Danger and Necessity

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