In the Media
CHPC’s expertise has been valued for over 70 years and our non-partisan analysis and opinion features widely in the media. You can read all of our latest press mentions here.
Commenting on this article for the Times, CHPC Deputy Director Sarah Watson noted that “while S.R.O.s remain highly stigmatized, “there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the layout of an S.R.O., the problem was management and money and a whole lot of people in poverty put together,” she said. “It wasn’t design.”
New York City, like other major U.S. metros, is drumming up initiatives in an attempt resolve a severe shortage of affordable homes as demand has grown rapidly and prices continue to soar. The shortage of low- and middle-income housing could be alleviated by legalizing the conversion of basements into apartments, according to a report by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, which noted that between 10,000 and 38,000 basement units could be converted under the initiative without changing the city’s Zoning Resolution.
Citizens Housing and Planning Council scoured every lot in the five boroughs and found that as many as 38,000 basements of single-family houses could be ready to roll as rental apartments — sufficiently above street level and shielded from flooding to provide safe and comfy homes, a boon not just for future tenants but for owners upstairs who need a hand paying the mortgage.
A study released Thursday by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council suggests that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiatives to ease the city’s housing woes should include a program that would convert the 38,000 or so basements in the city’s single-family homes without having to make big changes to city or state laws.
The Citizens Housing and Planning Council has published a report that explores the feasibility of utilizing basements and cellars as an alternate form of housing. According to their study, there are between 10,000 and 38,000 basements that could potentially be converted into apartments under the program. By changing current housing and zoning laws, the city could put a dent in the housing crisis without adding more developments and creating apartments that could potentially rent below market rate.
A study put out by CHPC states that there are approximately 38,000 potential basement apartments in New York City. Deputy Director Sarah Watson explained, there are many advantages to creating a legal basement unit, “You don’t have to acquire the land, you don’t have to increase the size or shape of the home and adding a rental unit to their revenue for the month can really save them from losing their homes.”
A new study put out in a report by Citizens Housing and Planning Council shows there are up to 210,000 basements and cellars across the city that could potentially be converted into legal apartments—enough to move the needle on the city’s housing crisis without pouring a single new building foundation. According to Sarah Watson Watson, deputy director of the organization,”there is a convincing scale to this, we’ve set out the major arguments for conversions and our recommendations about how a pilot program could be structured.”
Executive Director, Jerilyn Perine was a panelist at the recently held Crain’s NYC Housing Summit. She addressed the issue of creating more housing such as basement apartments legalization and allowing buildings with small sized apartments.
Executive Director Jerilyn Perine at a panel discussion spoke of the need for legalizing basements in small homes, “We speak about building bigger…but don’t speak about creating a path for legalizing basements in small homes. Anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 that could be put into the marketplace.”
Speaking at the Crain’s NYC Summit on Housing, Executive Director Jerilyn Perine discussed the idea of allowing the 50,000 to 100,000 basement apartments in the city to legally enter the marketplace.
The population of New York City topped 8.5 million for the first time this year. Nearly 50 percent of the residents are single, however studios, the ideal housing for single residents make up only 7 percent of the housing stock.
Speaking on the feasibility of micro units, deputy director of Citizens Housing & Planning Council Sarah Watson said, “people are spending $1,800 per month renting a room that’s 10-by-10 and living with strangers that they meet on Craigslist.”