Rockland marks 4th year of housing crackdown, focusing on cleanups and violations

Originally published in Journal News on May 31, 2019.

State Sen. James Skoufis, who represents Stony Point and Haverstraw, spoke at the news conference about his committee's investigation of substandard housing in Spring Valley, Mount Vernon, Newburgh and other communities.

He said his committee's soon-to-be released report will deal with enforcement concerns, lack of inspectors, and the issue of anonymous landlords hiding behind limited liability corporations. He noted Mount Vernon has one building inspector for a population of 70,000 people.

He agreed with Day that the minimum fines by most judges do little to discourage bad landlords. He called those fines of $250 after months of court delays the cost of doing business for landlords. 

"This is a unique program that should not be unique," Skoufis said of the Rockland Codes Initiatives.