Mayor Bill de Blasio plans on creating 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years in the City of New York. We need more affordable housing in our city, however, some of the steps that he and other officials will be taking to accomplish this goal are disturbing.
The mayor and others feel that legalizing some illegally converted basement apartments and other units is one great way to produce more affordable housing. But how many people will be living in those units, and will the units be safe not only for the tenants but for adjacent residents?
What impact will they have on local neighborhoods whose infrastructure was not designed to take on an unexpected increase in population? Our schools are already overcrowded and parking is at a premium in most areas.
Will these new units truly be affordable when the rent charged for them is homeowner determined? And legalizing these units will only encourage more conversions and more congestion.
Also, legalizing illegally converted units will negate the rezonings that have been accomplished through the hard work of civic associations and community boards over the past several years. The character of our communities will change, and I believe not in a positive way.
In fact, when you read what is being proposed, upzoning to allow for more dense development and taller buildings is a big part of the picture in the mayor’s plan. This would happen all over the city.
What can we do to show our concern and disapproval for these particular ideas? Call or write your council member, assembly member and state senator and tell them that you do not want illegally converted units legalized, you don’t want the rezonings tampered with, and that you oppose upzoning in general.
We have to speak out, and now is the time to do so.