Pilot Program Will Legalize Basement Apartments in East New York

One approach to easing New York City's housing crisis: legalize and incentivize the construction of basement apartments.

1 minute read

February 14, 2019, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New York Basement Apartment

littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock

"[New York City] will launch a pilot program aimed at creating safe, legal basement apartments in East New York amidst the five borough’s dire affordable housing crisis," reports Caroline Spivack.

The New York City Council voted to approve the pilot program this week for the area defined by Brooklyn's Community Board 5. The pilot program will "help landlords transform certain illegal basement apartments into habitable, affordable units."

"The new policy would modify the city’s building and fire codes to allow qualified basement units to be made habitable and legal. An interagency group including the Department of Buildings, Department of Housing Preservation, and Development and Department of City Planning will determine how and whether a basement or cellar can be converted into a legal apartment," according to Spivack.

Also included in the new pilot program is $12 million in low-interest loans and grants to kickstart the construction process for low- and moderate-income homeowners.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 in Curbed New York

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