Day Announces Initiative To Target Illegal Housing

County Executive Ed Day and the Rockland County Health Department held a press conference on Thursday where they announced a new initiative to find and crack down on illegal housing. The conference was held outside of 76 Fairview Avenue, a home in Spring Valley that has up to 19 violations reported by inspectors and was the first home reported using the county’s new worst landlord list online. The list makes public the anonymous property owners and violators of building laws. County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert stated that the fines will now be up to $2,000/day per violation and with inspectors now working under Rockland’s sanitary code, landlords will be brought before the Health Department for violations and their properties can then be inspected without permission or notice. The legislature must not vote to approve the appointment of two more building inspectors for the department who would get paid $46,000 a year. Day stated that the penalties will pay for the salaries of these new employees. Day and County officials are hopeful that the crack down will be the first step to ending the serious problem of illegal house in the county stating, “I have been trying to find a strategy that would work well beyond where the failures have been of late in dealing with this issue of illegal housing. The goal here is to improve safety for residents, to improve safety for our fire fighters which they deserve, protecting our lives, and actually improve the housing stock.”

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