09/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2023 07:29
New City, NY, - The Rockland County Office of Buildings and Codes (OBC) is issuing a $23,000 fine to Schloima Koppel, the same landlord housing 31 people in a New City single-family property, resulting from 32 violations found at Koppel's Spring Valley rental at 8 W. Funston Street.
The inspection uncovered 8 bedrooms and 16 beds, in what should be a 3-bedroom home. Inspectors are still trying to determine how many people are living in the property as the investigation found 3 people sharing one of the beds in the home. In addition to overcrowding, violations found include blocked egresses, electrical hazards, illegal conversions, and missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Per OBC's standard administrative process, the landlord has 30 days to remedy and request reinspection.
The County Office of Buildings and Codes (OBC) assumed control of the Village of Spring Valley Building Department as ordered by New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) effective February 14, 2022.
Under New York State law, 3-family homes and above, commercial, and places of assembly are subject to mandatory inspections and fall under OBC's jurisdiction which this property does not and why the County of Rockland urges people to submit complaints of unsafe housing. Single and two-family homes, which the property involved is classified as, are not subject to required inspections under New York State law but OBC inspectors obtained a search warrant to enter and inspect the property for safety concerns and overcrowding, which was discovered, following dangerous levels of overcrowding found at the landlords Town of Clarkstown property.
"Building and Fire Codes were designed to protect the welfare and safety of residents, visitors, and first responders and it is inhumane of landlords to put profit above people," said County Executive Day. "I want our residents to know that we understand and share your frustration. Illegal housing is becoming a major problem in this County. The sad reality is enforcement is only a Band-Aid and not solving the true cause of this issue that is getting increasingly worse if our State and Federal elected officials continue to ignore the tens of thousands of migrants being moved across the country illegally, into properties not complying with safety standards."
Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann stated, "I am delighted that the work between the Town of Clarkstown and the County of Rockland has again borne fruit. The migrant flophouse in Clarkstown led to the county following up as part of the joint investigation into another property in Spring Valley, owned by the same owner Schloima Koppel. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with County Executive Ed Day to stop illegal housing and the trafficking of migrants in our communities."
Attached is the County Executive's letter to the New York Attorney General Letitia James calling on her to investigate the organized movement of migrants across the country and state into dangerously overcrowded properties.
The Office of Buildings and Codes requests all interested parties submit complaints within the Village of Spring Valley by calling 845-364-3700 or emailing [email protected].
Rockland Codes Investigations requests all Sanitary Code Violations be reported to 845-364-2585 or by filing a report online.
The Rockland County Department of Health's Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) provides free safety outreach, including providing smoke detectors, and education to eligible residents including low-income residents, seniors, and at-risk families.
To schedule a free Healthy Neighborhoods Program home visit, a presentation for your organization, or for more information, please call 845-364-3292 or 845-364-3290.