Despite the city’s ongoing efforts to shutter unsafe dwellings, illegal conversions remain a chronic problem, illustrated starkly by the recent eviction of tenants from a home in East Elmhurst with no fire escapes or sprinklers. Another somber reminder is the trial stemming from the 2005 fire that claimed the lives of two firefighters in an overcrowded Bronx apartment.

“If there is not enough market-rate housing in one neighborhood, people start pushing into the more affordable neighborhoods and displace the residents already there,” said Jerilyn Perine, executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, a group that works to improve housing conditions.

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