NYC pilot program to offer $395K to homeowners building extra housing

Fifteen eligible New York City homeowners could land up to $395,000 to turn their basement, attic or garage into an apartment, as part of a new pilot program announced Tuesday.

"This is really an opportunity to say this can be done," said Adolfo Carrión, NYC’s commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. "It’s the right thing to do. It’s going to help homeowners. It’s going to help older New Yorkers and families."

The Plus One ADU, short for ‘accessory dwelling units’, would help owners build additional housing for tenants.

The program targets residents who’ll remain primary occupants in their homes, like Gaurish Malhotra, who shares his home with his parents and his son.

"Hearing that, I think it would bring a smile to their face, that it’s a possibility for them and even other families in the neighborhood, or across the city," Malhotra said.

After sharing the details of the pilot, he said he plans to be one of the city’s earliest applicants.

"As a real estate agent, I come across residents who feel as if they’re being pushed out of their homes or neighborhood and this program can allow them to stay in homes and neighborhoods that they could’ve possibly grown up their entire lives," said Brianah Moore, a realtor in the city.

Homeowners applying for the program must live where zoning restrictions won’t be a factor, make less than 165% of the area median income and lease the space to individuals who make less than the area median income.

The approved homeowner could decide to lease their space to loved ones free of charge if they choose.

"It’s a small pilot though," Carrión explained. "I think what we’re trying to do is prove the case that there are takers here. Families will take advantage of this opportunity."

Applications just opened Tuesday, and interested homeowners have until Feb. 13 to complete the online survey for consideration below.