Skoufis Holds Investigative Public Hearing on Illegal Housing & Code Enforcement

Skoufis Holds Investigative Public Hearing on Illegal Housing & Code Enforcement

Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley), Chairman of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, held a joint public hearing in the City of Newburgh with Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan), Chairman of the Housing Committee, on the current investigation into housing conditions and code enforcement, the first of its kind.

Witnesses who testified included: Assemblymembers Zebrowski and Jacobson; officials from the City of Albany, City of Newburgh, City of Mount Vernon, and Town of Ramapo; Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods; The Orange County Landlord Association; the Department of State; and the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.

The hearing became heated at times. Senator Skoufis strongly rebuked the President of the Orange County Landlords Association’s characterization of his tenants as “animals.” Skoufis also grilled the Town of Ramapo’s code enforcement - or lack thereof - as well as the Department of State.

Senator James Skoufis said, “Our team of investigators and I will go through the testimonies, develop our report, and seek to advance legislation this year that better protects residents and first responders. Code enforcement is an issue that touches on every single New Yorker and, after hearing witnesses yesterday, we can do a lot better in our state.”

Senator Brian Kavanagh said, “My Senate colleagues and I are working every day toward the goal of ensuring that every New Yorker has access to high quality, affordable housing. Effective code enforcement is an essential part of the solution, and the testimony we heard at our joint hearing in Newburgh was extremely valuable in helping us to understand the failings of the current system and the steps we can take to address them through legislation and oversight. I thank everyone who testified with integrity and candor, the members and staff of the two committees, and Senator James Skoufis for his great leadership in taking on this issue on behalf the communities he represents and all New Yorkers.”

A full video of the hearing may be accessed here.

Written testimony may still be sent to