There is a new pilot program in East New York that may lead to the legalization of basement apartments in the area. According to Crain's New York, the movement is an attempt to create more affordable housing in existing buildings. A hearing on the legislation, which has been in the works since the neighborhood in Brooklyn was rezoned, is set for Tuesday.
While basement apartments are common in NYC, most are illegal as the units do not meet building and fire codes. New legislation would make changes to the existing codes, such as installing sprinkler systems or adding a means of egress to make these units safe to inhabit. The city also plans to give subsidies to help landlords offset associated costs. To be eligible, a unit must have more than half its floor-to-ceiling height above ground.
As real estate professionals, we recognize how this new program could positively affect a landlord's profitability, adding more income and value to a building's rent roll. If legislation pushes the program through this could potentially roll out into other areas of NYC.
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