City officials push for bill to fight illegal home conversions
City officials are pushing for a bill to combat illegal home conversions that pose serious risks.
Officials say many illegal home conversions don't have fire escapes or other emergency exits.
A recent fire at 14-34 Flatbush Ave. killed one person and left 16 others without a home. The building had been illegally converted into apartments and did not have a fire escape.
Councilman Jumaane Williams says he hopes the new bill will help prevent fire deaths by creating a building code called an "aggravated illegal conversion." He says it will make it easier to get warrants and take quick actions to get illegal apartments vacated quickly, and will set a fine of $15,000 per illegal unit.
The proposed bill will be introduced Thursday.