On Friday night, two men died in a fire in aBrooklynrowhouse that city officials say was an improvised boardinghouse – deaths that followed three similar tragedies in theBronxlast month. On Sunday, the city announced a crackdown on illegal hotels – one of which reportedly had 44 people living in a three-family home.
It is, of course, critical to enforce the current laws when homes can become deathtraps. But let’s be clear: The problemNew Yorkfaces is bigger than that. With a wide range of immigrants, almost 50% of the adult population single, an economy that is still struggling to recover and others desperately seeking affordable housing, we need to recognize reality and reshape the housing laws we have.
New York Cityshould see this moment of crisis as an opportunity to develop a wider array of safe and legal types of housing to serve our 21st century population. We need to modernize our arcane laws and codes to permit new housing options to be developed.
Read the full op-ed in Daily News.