As anyone who's walked the gorgeous 8 block rectangle of stately homes will tell you, this is a proud neighborhood of SINGLE FAMILY HOMES (signs reinforce this notion, lest you try to force someone to rent you a room). But times have changed, and for some it's simply not feasible to pay enormous property taxes and mortgages without a little extra income. 45 year resident Bob Marvin, a local artist and neighborhood booster says "Plus, about half of us already rent rooms through AirBnb, which while technically not allowed, still kinda qualifies. AirBnb is sort of like a "single family" of users. Ask anyBoyd who does it. Being an AirBnb-er is like adding a few hundred-thousand cousins to your Holiday Card list."
"Everybody needs a little pocket change" says Edwards. "Sure you might have a million or more dollars in equity, but twice-yearly European or Caribbean vacations don't pay for themselves" he chuckled. (Edwards is always chuckling. It's as if all day long someone is whispering the funniest joke you ever heard into his earpiece.)
So AirBnb is allowed. But what about rentals? New resident Flora Camembert (or Cheese Flower to her friends) put it this way: "We decided that if you're allowed to let your extended family live here, and squeeze a bit of cash off the books, why not allow a single-family rental? For a lot of us, it would be a relief not to have let to rent the basement to, say, Uncle Max, who may not be an ideal tenant in the first place, what with his bathtub gin and frequent splashings of cheap cologne."
The compromise, says Edwards, is to allow just one apartment per house. BUT (and this is a big but), the renter themselves must be a single family. No non-related roommates. This means that the covenant technically becomes "Two Single Families." Certain allowances will made, say, if the first Single Family encounters divorce or custody battles. In special circumstances, a Single Family that has legally become a Dual Family will still be able to rent to a third legal Single Family, provided IRS 1040s can be produced that show that the split family no longer files jointly.
"We're not trying to be the housing police" continues Marvin. "We just want to keep the loud parties, single people and hobos out, while keeping that warm small-town feel in. A lot of NYC neighborhoods have been literally torn apart by hobos. I'd like to think this would be the kind of neighborhood you could walk about without getting poked in the eye with knapsack sticks, you know?" Take it from the Q, who recently spent a few hours walking around Williamsburg and Greenpoint. It's positively lousy with hobos, and it's not even summer yet.
|Today's hobos are as likely to carry their knapsacks on the end of banjos.|