The majority of the at least 13 New Yorkers killed in Wednesday’s historic storm had one tragic thing in common: They were trapped in flooded basement apartments.

The day after the remnants of Hurricane Ida pounded New York, housing advocates and a handful of elected officials swiftly pressed the city to accelerate stalled efforts to make currently unauthorized basement apartments legal, which would bring higher safety standards and periodic inspections.

A pilot program launched in March 2019 to convert basements in Cypress Hills and East New York, Brooklyn, into legal dwellings collapsed last year when Mayor Bill de Blasio took away 92% of its funding.

Trone Dowd/THE CITY A row of residential buildings with basement units in East New York, Jan. 22, 2020 The majority of the at least 13 New Yorkers killed in Wednesday’s historic storm had one tragic thing in common: They were trapped in flooded basement apartments.

The day after the remnants […]

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