Neighbors complain about illegally converted housing

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
April 20, 2017News

【非法改建屋系列報導二】周邊都是「眼」 非法改建屋頻遭舉報

我們昨天播出了,  非法改建房屋改變了當地分區規劃,使配備的公共資源超負荷運轉. 周邊鄰居也開始注意這一現象,並利用社群媒體建立網絡,舉報非法改建屋。來看非法改建屋的系列報導的第二部分.

Yesterday, we talked about how illegally converted housing changed the zoning of local communities. This has caused public resources to be over-used. Nearby neighbors have noticed this problem. They used social media to file complaints on the illegally converted housing. Let’s take a look at the 2nd report on illegally reconstructed housing.

安東尼·斯瑞提(Anthony Ceretti)在戴克高地(Dyker Heights )居住了20多年,他發現在近5年間,改建屋在這裡不斷湧現。這棟有著亮閃閃不鏽鋼防盜門窗的住宅,就引起了他的注意。

Anthony Ceretti has lived in Dyker Heights for over 20 years. He noticed that in the last 5 years, more and more illegally converted housing emerged. This building with stainless steel security doors and windows has caught his attention.

Dyker Heights Resident Anthony Ceretti: “A man came in and he completely excavated the inside of a home, down to the brick, and he excavated the basement. He removed everything above the basement and excavated the basement to make the basement a living quarters also. So this used to be a 4 bedroom house, it is now a 10 bedroom house. Since this was one of first that happened in the neighborhood. I received many complaints and we think we should chase the man for having so many tenants here. So his house has actually been emptied for about a year now.”


The neighbors are very alarmed of illegally converted housing. The main concern is the reconverted houses have altered the original structure of the houses and thus increases safety risk. This video is recorded by a local resident and is used as evidence for complaint.


In the video, the resident noticed a large garbage bin in front of the house. Several construction works were digging from the basement, apparently trying to convert the basement to a living room.

戴克高地民權協會(Dyker Heights Civic Association)主席瑪瑞恩(Fran Vella-Marrone)女士表示,戴克高地的房屋都有上百年的歷史,地下室是整個房屋的基礎,如果施工不當,會對整個建築,以及相連的房屋造成安全隱患。

The president of Dyker Heights Civic Association, Ms Fran Vella-Marrone said the houses in Dyker Heights have over a hundred years of history. The basement is the basis of a house. If construction is not done appropriately, it will a pose safety risk to the entire building and nearby houses.

President of Dyker Heights Civic Association, Ms Fran Vella-Marrone: “We don’t even know what kind of construction is being put up. We don’t know if the construction is safe. Is it safe for the people who are going to live there? Is it safe for the people who are doing the construction work? These are all very real and very serious concerns.”


Marrone said, they found corporations specifically purchase properties in good districts, and lease the building after illegally converting the houses. This has caused the local housing prices to escalate.

President of Dyker Heights Civic Association, Ms Fran Vella-Marrone: “They are invested. They are buying pieces of property, chopping it up. They are renting it to people who unfortunately need a place to live. They are really abusing these people. In addition to that, the property values are artificially going up because the values of homes are artificially going up. Now you have the situation where people’s property taxes are so high, that they can’t afford to live here.”

針對這些問題,周邊鄰居採取的行動之一就是舉報。在戴克高地8月份一週就發生兩起,房屋局接到舉報, 查封非法改建的地下室。房客被立即清空,由紅十字會安置臨時住所。

In response to this Issue, one of the actions taken by neighbors was to file a complaint. In Dyker Heights, two complaints were filed within one week of August. After receiving the complaint, the department of building seized the Illegally converted basement. Tenants were immediately dispatched. The Red Cross arranged them to stay in temporary housing.

President of Dyker Heights Civic Association, Ms Fran Vella-Marrone:

“There is a really egregious example. We have the department of building out to a site, within an hour to two hours.”

記者: 房屋局反應迅速的原因之一,就是舉報人往往提供圖片和視頻,使執法人員有充分證據,有備而來。我們採訪到一位因改建地下室被罰的華裔房主。請繼續關注我們的後續報導。

Reporter: One of the reasons for the rapid response of the department of building is that the whistleblowers often provide pictures and videos, so that law enforcement officers have sufficient evidence and are well prepared. We have interviewed a Chinese landlord who was fined for converting the basement. Please keep an eye on our follow-up report.

新唐人記者 安心 李凱文 紐約報導

NTD, Salina Wang and Kevin Li, New York

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