As part of the Historic Districts Council’s Preservation School Series, Laura Heim presented the basic zoning and code restrictions which make the legalization of existing NYC cellars and basements in many cases difficult and costly, if not impossible. NYC had begun a pilot program in East Brooklyn to explore this complicated issue as a possible way to provide affordable housing. The reality of building safely in NYC provided many obstacles to this abstract idea. The high standards set by the building and zoning codes have evolved over time to protect the health and safety of all New York residents. With the recent flooding of cellar and basement apartments in NYC as a result of Ida, particularly in Queens, providing apartments in these spaces has become even more debated. Click here to listen to the talk and decide what you think: Challenges in Cellar and Basement Use in NYC