Reports of the fire that erupted in Bushwick last night are extremely troubling. Even more concerning is the fact that this building had been reported for having illegal conversions and that inspectors were unable to gain access.

It is precisely because of cases like this that the Council recognizes the need to eliminate dangerous illegal conversions. We will be convening a hearing on June 7th that will examine ways the city can improve inspectors’ access to buildings that have been reported and take action against these potentially deadly housing violations. We are also in the process of forming a task force that will seek to improve the process of obtaining access warrants.

Last night’s horrific deaths come on the heels of three other deaths in the Bronx less than a month ago. We cannot stand by and must take action to address illegal subdivisions before we witness another tragedy take place.