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Illegal housing --suggestion of the day INCREASE FINES
Release Date: February 09, 2007

A fire last week at 66 Beech Streetin Fairviewfortunately did not injure anyone. However, it was determined that the property was a two family house. About 20 people lived there illegally. The house was subdivided into several smaller rooms, many of which showed evidence of electrical wiring that contributed to the overloaded circuit.

The owners had been cited for housing illegal roomers.  The problem: the fines are very low--$500 a day maximum. Napoleon Mitchell of the Juniper Hill Civic Association is suggesting that the fines be increased.  I will be posting this suggestion on my blog: www.pfeiner.blogspot.com and welcome your comments.  A suggestion has been made: The law should have a minimum fine of $1500 per day for the first offense and $5000 a day for a second offense.

PAUL FEINER
GreenburghTownSupervisor

Paul for your consideration, the article in the Journal News today[2/9/07] indicated that some towns in Westchester have raised fines between $1000and $5000 for violations of housing codes re:illegal apts and overcrowding.Maybe our town should consider raising fines similar to Mt. Kisco and Mamaroneck to discourage unscrupulous landlords from renting  illegal rooms in either an apartment house or in a home.

I know we hired an additional housing inspector to investigate illegal rooms,but an increase in fines could raise the stakes for those who are violating the law.

N.Mitchell

Juniper Hill Civic Association

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