State Senate hearing in Newburgh looks at housing code enforcement problems

Harsh words and the blame game were heard Thursday in Newburgh at a state Senate hearing on housing code enforcement problems.

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2019, 9:22 PM

Updated 1,830 days ago

Share:

Harsh words and the blame game were heard Thursday in Newburgh at a state Senate hearing on housing code enforcement problems.
Those problems were specifically about Ramapo, Newburgh and Mount Vernon. The hearing comes just three days after two girls nearly drowned in a pool outside a Spring Valley home with numerous housing violations.

State Sen. James Skoufis says he wants to know whether the town of Ramapo is doing enough to prevent similar situations.
Skoufis grilled Ramapo town officials at the legislative hearing after an investigation found Ramapo to be one of the worst in the state for housing code issues, along with Mount Vernon, Newburgh and Albany.

Rockland County officials testified that Ramapo isn't doing enough to fight illegal housing. Former county fire director Gordon Wren blames town officials.

“It makes no sense whatsoever. Why wouldn't the town enforce the codes? Why would they allow buildings to be occupied without COs for years and years? It's politics,” he said.

Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht said the town meets the state's minimum housing standards – and that’s why a state-appointed monitor was allowed to leave her position overseeing the town last year.
Wren said the state hasn’t done its job either.
“I blame the governor of the state of New York because he’s the captain of this ship,” said Wren.

Lawmakers hope to use testimony given at the hearing to determine which municipalities need more state oversight and what laws could be created to crack down on an illegal housing crisis that many say is only getting worse.
City officials, tenant associations and so-called slumlords from Newburgh and Mount Vernon also testified at the hearing Thursday. Many of them gave conflicting statements over various housing issues in their cities. 


More from News 12
2:11
Fallen heroes honored during Memorial Day ceremonies in Westchester and Rockland counties

Fallen heroes honored during Memorial Day ceremonies in Westchester and Rockland counties

2:19
STORM WATCH: Partly cloudy skies and possible stray storm Sunday in the Hudson Valley; heavy rain likely for Memorial Day

STORM WATCH: Partly cloudy skies and possible stray storm Sunday in the Hudson Valley; heavy rain likely for Memorial Day

1:41
Not forgotten: Revelers enjoy Memorial Day parade in Hastings-On-Hudson

Not forgotten: Revelers enjoy Memorial Day parade in Hastings-On-Hudson

0:27
Pedestrian and vehicle safety improvements to be considered in upcoming Greenburgh capital budget

Pedestrian and vehicle safety improvements to be considered in upcoming Greenburgh capital budget

0:39
State police: NYPD officer from Putnam Valley killed in Campbell Hall crash

State police: NYPD officer from Putnam Valley killed in Campbell Hall crash

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in the Hudson Valley

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in the Hudson Valley

1:37
President Biden delivers West Point commencement address

President Biden delivers West Point commencement address

1:43
Downtown Summer Sizzle Concert Series returns to New Rochelle

Downtown Summer Sizzle Concert Series returns to New Rochelle

1:54
African American history celebrated at Pinkster Festival in Sleepy Hollow

African American history celebrated at Pinkster Festival in Sleepy Hollow

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

0:47
Bake Back America volunteer from Scarsdale has art displayed at Adelphi University

Bake Back America volunteer from Scarsdale has art displayed at Adelphi University

1:39
Monsey family business targeted again over Israeli flag

Monsey family business targeted again over Israeli flag

1:39
Caribbean foods and culture highlighted at International Food Festival in Mount Vernon

Caribbean foods and culture highlighted at International Food Festival in Mount Vernon

0:34
Orangetown police: Man sought for approaching boy at Pearl River home

Orangetown police: Man sought for approaching boy at Pearl River home

0:33
Hudson Link's free weekend shuttle bus service for Cuomo Bridge bike path resumes this weekend

Hudson Link's free weekend shuttle bus service for Cuomo Bridge bike path resumes this weekend

0:28
Newburgh man sentenced to eight years behind bars for shooting

Newburgh man sentenced to eight years behind bars for shooting

0:27
FBI: 6 Chilean nationals charged in connection to tri-state area burglaries

FBI: 6 Chilean nationals charged in connection to tri-state area burglaries

1:28
Heavy holiday weekend travel begins in New York

Heavy holiday weekend travel begins in New York

2:22
Memorial Day ceremony in Katonah honors fallen service members

Memorial Day ceremony in Katonah honors fallen service members

1:21
Crews prep Westchester County beaches ahead of opening weekend

Crews prep Westchester County beaches ahead of opening weekend