Boro leaders say no to basement apartments

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Community leaders were loud and clear about their concerns over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to look into legalizing basement apartments at Monday’s Borough Board meeting.

The city Housing Department Commissioner Vicki Been presented de Blasio’s ambitious affordable housing plan to build 200,000 units to the meeting and faced a barrage of questions about the part of the plan concerning basement apartments.

“What is the status of the idea of legalizing illegal basement apartments as part of this plan?” City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) asked at the meeting. “I think the plan overall is terrific and ambitious, and I’m excited about it, but that aspect of it is something that would concern people in Queens very much.

Been said the administration has not committed to legalizing basement apartments and that the plan will only require the issue be considered.

“The plan commits us to take a look at that issue to see if there are any ways in which that kind of housing could be made safe and legal,” she said.

A number of community board chairpeople, whose boards passed resolutions against this aspect of the plan, sounded off about illegal basement apartments and probed Been about the administration’s plans concerning the issue.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Basement apartments should be prohibited no matter what.

Another dumb idea from what is turning out to be another ludicrous idea from this very weak mayor, dumBlasio. What a poor choice he is turning out to be. Very disappointing.
May 26, 2014, 10:05 am
Chucky from Flushing says:
Basement apartments are going to exist no matter what. If legalizing them can bring in ore tax revenue to the city. Awesome.

Not to mention the amount of money these slumlords will also need to spend to make the space up to code, that's money to the economy.

All you idiots trying to stop this must be slumlords yourself. Tax the sh*t out of these slumlords and force them to bring the basements up to code. Make it easier for the building dept to gain warrants to inspect these illegal housings. It's all money for the city.
May 26, 2014, 12:25 pm
Red the garbage man from Whitestone says:
The Asians in Fooshing have many illegal basement apartments . I take away the trash when they build them . I also remove the trash when they get busted and have to remove them . Good for my business ! So I say don't legalize then !
May 26, 2014, 4:52 pm
no brainer from queens says:
Its a no brainer that making basement apartments legal because oh they will be there anyway is ridiculous. We need to crack down on illegal apartments both for the safety of the residents and for the quality of life of those around them. If they do not like it too bad, America is a big country, find somewhere else to live or go home. It is not fair to fire fighters to make them risk their lives to fight fires in illegal apartments.
May 27, 2014, 10:44 am

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