Council to Create Pilot Program to Create Basement Apartments to Expand Housing Stock

The City Council will also expand requirements for landlords to address allergen hazards

City Hall – The New York City Council on Wednesday will vote to create a pilot program to expand the City’s housing stock by facilitating the creation of basement apartments in East New York. This program would also aid eligible property owners with low-cost loans.

The Council will also vote to require that landlords address pest and indoor allergen hazards, and to permit the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to mandate work to address these hazards.

Additionally, the Council will vote to require the Department of Transportation to post on its website the process and guidelines that it uses to assess traffic flow changes.

The Council also will vote to increase the requirements for street sign and pedestrian countdown display placement throughout the city.

The Council will also vote to require that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services submit to the state civil service commission a comprehensive revision of its provisional employee reduction plan.

The Council will also vote on a resolution in relation to dissolving the Committee on For Hire Vehicles and transferring the jurisdiction of For Hire Vehicles to the Standing Committee on Transportation.

Pilot Program for the Creation of Apartments in the Basements and Cellars of Certain Dwellings.

Introduction 1004, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, would establish a pilot program in Brooklyn Community Board 5 to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings. This pilot program would also assist eligible property owners with low-cost conditional loans to be overseen by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“Converting basement units into safe and legal housing is an important way to address New York City’s affordability crisis,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Together with advocates from the BASE (Basement Apartments Safe for Everyone) Coalition, including Chhaya CDC, Cypress Hills LDC, and the Pratt Center for Community Development, we’ve been pushing for years to bring underground units into the light. Thank you to Council Members Rafael Espinal and Inez Barron and the de Blasio administration for developing this thoughtful pilot program for East New York. I look forward to working with our partners to establish the pilot program, and then to learn the lessons we’ll need to expand the program to neighborhoods around the city.”

Clarifying Responsibilities of Owners and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to Address Indoor Asthma Allergen Hazards.

Introduction 780, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would change Local Law 55 of 2018, to include a requirement that landlords take measures to eradicate pests and remediate the existence of indoor allergen hazards and allow the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to determine whether to perform the work to eradicate indoor allergen hazards.

“I’m proud that we are ensuring that one of the signature accomplishments of my predecessor and mentor Rosie Mendez – the Asthma Free Homes Act – will be fully and seriously enforced with the passage of Intro 780. My District is home to some of the highest asthma rates in New York City, and we need to combat mold, pest, and other indoor allergen hazards with the abatement protocols this health crisis deserves,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.

Requiring Public Guidelines for Traffic Flow Designations.

Introduction 867, sponsored by Council Member Adrienne Adams, would require the Department of Transportation to establish and maintain guidelines on its website for the criteria and considerations used to assess proposed changes of one-way streets to two-way streets and vice versa, and the process by which traffic flow changes can be requested. Additionally, the department would be required to post on its website, yearly, the requests for traffic flow changes received and the status of those requests.

Requiring the Placement of Street Name Signs at Intersections.

Introduction 928, sponsored by Council Member Adrienne Adams, would require that at least two corners of a street intersection have the appropriate street name signage installed.

“Far too often, when driving it is difficult to tell what street you are on because the signs are completely faded or not there at all,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “It is important that the Department of Transportation make it a priority to replace all sun bleached signs and missing signage. In addition, the defining feature of several two way streets in our city is that they are so narrow that it is uncomfortable for 2 cars to drive simultaneously, especially when parked cars are present on both sides. This is further exacerbated in the event of inclement weather. Intros 867 and 928 will be an invaluable resource for all drivers in New York City. I’d like to thank Speaker Corey Johnson and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez for moving these bills closer to law.”

Requiring the Installation of Pedestrian Countdown Displays

Introduction 206, sponsored by Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo, would require the Department of Transportation to install pedestrian countdown displays at any intersection where there is a photo-enforced traffic violation system.

“The Department of Transportation has already determined that the intersections where they have installed red light enforcement cameras are among the most dangerous in the city, so it is just common sense to also install countdown clocks to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists at these same intersections. Pedestrian countdown clocks simply make crossing intersections safer,” said Council Minority Leader Matteo. “DOT, to its credit, has already expanded the use of these safety devices to intersections all over the city, but I felt it was important to ensure all red light camera intersections have them.”

Department of Citywide Administrative Services Provisional Employee Reduction Plan.

Introduction 1235, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to submit to the state civil service commission for its approval a comprehensive revision of its provisional employee reduction plan. This bill would require DCAS to also submit this plan to the City Council.

“Government agencies hire provisional employees to fill positions of need when they’re unable to identify qualified candidates, but an over-dependence on these workers has the dual effect of depriving them of the labor protections enjoyed by permanent hires and removing ladders of opportunity for civil service aspirants to earn well-paying jobs that promote middle class growth,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Our City has historically struggled to adhere to the State law that mandates provisional workers be employed no greater than nine months. Introduction 1235 will require DCAS to provide the Council with a copy of its latest comprehensive plan to further reduce the number of provisional employees currently on the City’s payroll. I thank Speaker Johnson and my colleagues for supporting the passage of this key reporting requirement. In my role as Civil Service and Labor Chair, I will continue to help improve our community’s access to the civil service jobs that help grow our economy and provide a quality standard of living for all.”

Resolution Dissolving Committee on Hire Vehicles:

Resolution 739, sponsored by Council Member Karen Koslowitz, would amend Rule 7.00 of the Rules of the Council in relation to dissolving the Committee on For Hire Vehicles and transferring the jurisdiction of For Hire Vehicles, expressly the Taxi and Limousine Commission, to the Standing Committee on Transportation.

Finally, the Council will  vote on several land use items.

Belmont Cove Rezoning

A series of land use applications to facilitate the development of an 11-story building with 156 affordable housing units, known as Belmont Cove, in Council Member Raphael Salamanca’s district, in the Bronx.

East 241st Street Rezoning

A rezoning to facilitate the development of a 9-story mixed-use development with 186 affordable dwelling units on East 241st Street, in Council Member Andy Cohen’s district in the Bronx.

 895 Bedford Avenue

Applications to facilitate the development of a seven-story mixed-use building with 36 residential units, including 9 to 11 Mandatory Inclusionary Housing affordable units at 895 Bedford Avenue, in Council Member Steve Levin’s district in Brooklyn.

100-103 North Conduit Avenue Rezoning

A rezoning in Council Member Eric Ulrich’s district, in Queens, to facilitate the development of a new Use Group 16 automotive service station and a store with accessory parking spaces.

51-53 White Street

Application for a special permit, in Council Member Chin’s district, in Manhattan to facilitate the enlargement of the existing historic building at 51-53 White Street, while providing for its continued restoration and maintenance.

59 Greenwich Avenue

Application for a special permit for 59 Greenwich Avenue, in Speaker Corey Johnson’s district. The application is for the modification of use regulations, to allow Use Group 6 uses on the second floor; as well as the modification of bulk regulations, to facilitate the reconstruction and enlargement of the existing historic building, while also providing for its continued restoration and maintenance. The applicant has agreed to a prohibition on eating and drinking establishments for the second floor of the building, in response to concerns raised by the Community Board and Borough President.

 676-Seat Primary School

Site selection of a new 676-seat primary school in Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s district in Brooklyn, on the former Angel Guardian Home Property.

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