Two landlords arrested in Greenburgh for multiple building code violations

(12/13/03) ELMSFORD - Two Greenburgh landlords are in trouble with the law. Cops arrested Frances Cuva and Michael Kashani after housing officials say they ignored numerous, potentially deadly building code violations.

Nearly 100 people, mostly Hispanic immigrants, were found living inside a four-story wood frame house, owned by the two men. That building, located on Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, was only zoned to hold eight families. A major concern of the housing inspectors and of Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is the possibility that a fire could cause a catastrophic loss of life.

Feiner says the conditions in the apartment are deplorable. News 12 Westchester crews went inside and found a live, hissing steam pipe. The floors are cracked, and there are holes in the ceilings. People living on each floor share run-down bathrooms. The house is subdivided into multiple apartments on each floor. Most of them are one room and very small. Each of the four floors averages four apartments each.

Two people who live in one of the apartments pay $500 a month in rent. With rent costs generally high in the county of Westchester, immigrants who live there say they do not have much of a choice.

The building owners, who were arrested and charged with ignoring multiple housing violations after being cited dozens of times, were released on $1,000 bail. They were unavailable for comment. Police are now looking for the third owner identified as Reza Marandi of Yonkers.

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