PRESS RELEASE: City Secures Illegal Housing Enforcement Grant

Long Beach, NY – The City of Long Beach is pleased to announce that it has secured a $30,000 community development grant that will be used to aide the City in its efforts to put an end to illegal housing. “It’s a pervasive violation in our community,” states City Council member Scott Mandel. “It overburdens our infrastructure, creates parking problems, and increases taxes in our school district. So our police department and building department are now working together to crack down on illegal housing. Police Commissioner Michael Tangney and Building Commissioner Scott Kemins have devised a team of officers and building inspectors who will be dispatched to all areas of Long Beach to enforce the City’s code. The best part about this program is that it is fully funded by the federal government and of absolutely no cost to taxpayers.”

“If you are currently renting illegally, now is the time to correct the violation,” comments Commissioner Tangney. “If you are aware of anyone else renting illegally, now is the time to let us know.  Additionally, if you were contemplating doing this yourself, now is certainly not the time to do so.”

The City urges residents who are aware of illegal apartments in Long Beach to contact the City’s Housing Task Force at 516-431-1000 ext. 239 or via email at illegalrentals@longbeachny.org. All complaints are kept strictly confidential and never disclosed to the owner of the premises.

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21 thoughts on “PRESS RELEASE: City Secures Illegal Housing Enforcement Grant”

  1. Community Development Money..Watch it disappear..and two or three illegal apartmrents will go by the wayside with alot of press to boot

  2. From what I understand, no one wants to call out a neighbor and that’s why this plan has failed in the past. I suggest giving a discrete monetary award to those who do call in, if it results in fines to the landlord/owner. Perhaps this might get people to report illegal apartments. This might curb some of the problems (parking, party houses, etc…), if the illegal tenants are removed. Would love to see a followup story in a few months on how this grant money was used and with what results.

  3. s3711:
    From what I understand, no one wants to call out a neighbor and that’s why this plan has failed in the past. I suggest giving a discrete monetary award to those who do call in, if it results in fines to the landlord/owner. Perhaps this might get people to report illegal apartments. This might curb some of the problems (parking, party houses, etc…), if the illegal tenants are removed. Would love to see a followup story in a few months on how this grant money was used and with what results.

    I actually know a number of folks who either reported their neighbor or were reported themselves. personally, I think this is the wrong time to be going after the illegal housing market. A quick look at Trulia shows there’s 55 homes in LB that are currently for sale due to foreclosure. home many others out there are only able to stay afloat because they have illegal renters helping them pay their mortgage? I would rather see a crackdown take place only after there was a comprehensive plan put in place to address all of the concerns you mention above. one that also provided a way for those apartments that are currently illegal (where possible) to get up to code and become legal.

    i’ve been skewered here for saying it before, but it’s not just the illegal renters that are causing parking issues. the fact that nearly no one in the west end parks in their driveways greatly exasperates the issue. my current neighbor has a two car garage that is never used as her three cars sit in the street and take up spots the rest of us on the block could be using. instead, i’m left circling around looking for a spot.

  4. John: I actually know a number of folks who either reported their neighbor or were reported themselves. personally, I think this is the wrong time to be going after the illegal housing market. A quick look at Trulia shows there’s 55 homes in LB that are currently for sale due to foreclosure. home many others out there are only able to stay afloat because they have illegal renters helping them pay their mortgage? I would rather see a crackdown take place only after there was a comprehensive plan put in place to address all of the concerns you mention above. one that also provided a way for those apartments that are currently illegal (where possible) to get up to code and become legal.i’ve been skewered here for saying it before, but it’s not just the illegal renters that are causing parking issues. the fact that nearly no one in the west end parks in their driveways greatly exasperates the issue. my current neighbor has a two car garage that is never used as her three cars sit in the street and take up spots the rest of us on the block could be using. instead, i’m left circling around looking for a spot.

    Sorry John, I and many many others are with S3711. Illegals gotta go and the landlord need to be punished. Illegals drain resources and give the landloard and unfair advantage that the rest of law abiding homeowners do not have. That is not to say I am anti-renters cause I am not. but everyone needs to play by the rule and if you can’t then your out of the game.

    But like S3711 said people need to turn them in!!! There are plenty of houses all over town where all the neighbors do it and noone else turns them in. As for parking you are totally right people should use their garages and driveways if they have them.

  5. John,

    Thanks for your comments, love a good constructive conversation. In regards to the people that have been reported, were they evicted and/or fined ? Are they back to renting it out again ? Curious..

    As far as waiting for a comprehensive plan to address the concerns…I think getting rid of illegal tenants (if we could truly get rid of ALL of them) would solve most, if not all, of the parking, and quality of life problems. This could (one would hope) increase home values. Higher home values could solve some of the foreclosure problems. I respectfully disagree with you on getting some of these illegal apts. up to code and legalized. We already have too many multi family houses which helps to create the parking problem in the first place. I know we are in tough economic times, but those that are snubbing the rules cause higher taxes and other ancillary problems that the law abiding resident eventually pays for.

    In regards to driveways…do you mean that your neighbors and others aren’t even parking on the street directly in front of their driveway ? I know many residents that don’t use their garage (they use it for storage) but park directly on the street in front of their garage. I would guess that they bought their house with a garage for that very reason, to have a designated spot. I dont think it would be right to take that away from them. There is no possible way to enforce a ‘must use your garage’ law that I know of.

  6. Okay lets see what happens to my niegbors illegal who is well known around town and the powers that be all know about. like in the past one or two illegal apartments will be busted and there will be a ;lot of press coverage and that will be the end of it and the cronies will eat up all the grant money. Oh I should report my nieghbor so his friend in City Hall will tell him what I did and now I have enemies for neighbors. Let’s see the City do it’s job equally with out bias.

  7. John: I actually know a number of folks who either reported their neighbor or were reported themselves. personally, I think this is the wrong time to be going after the illegal housing market. A quick look at Trulia shows there’s 55 homes in LB that are currently for sale due to foreclosure. home many others out there are only able to stay afloat because they have illegal renters helping them pay their mortgage? I would rather see a crackdown take place only after there was a comprehensive plan put in place to address all of the concerns you mention above. one that also provided a way for those apartments that are currently illegal (where possible) to get up to code and become legal.

    i’ve been skewered here for saying it before, but it’s not just the illegal renters that are causing parking issues. the fact that nearly no one in the west end parks in their driveways greatly exasperates the issue. my current neighbor has a two car garage that is never used as her three cars sit in the street and take up spots the rest of us on the block could be using. instead, i’m left circling around looking for a spot.

    Who says your garage has to be for your car.

  8. In response to the

    John: I actually know a number of folks who either reported their neighbor or were reported themselves. personally, I think this is the wrong time to be going after the illegal housing market. A quick look at Trulia shows there’s 55 homes in LB that are currently for sale due to foreclosure. home many others out there are only able to stay afloat because they have illegal renters helping them pay their mortgage? I would rather see a crackdown take place only after there was a comprehensive plan put in place to address all of the concerns you mention above. one that also provided a way for those apartments that are currently illegal (where possible) to get up to code and become legal.

    i’ve been skewered here for saying it before, but it’s not just the illegal renters that are causing parking issues. the fact that nearly no one in the west end parks in their driveways greatly exasperates the issue. my current neighbor has a two car garage that is never used as her three cars sit in the street and take up spots the rest of us on the block could be using. instead, i’m left circling around looking for a spot.

    When i lived in the west end, i purposely parked in the street rather than in my driveway or garage. Why? Its simple. On more than one occasion, i’d get up before dawn to leave for work only to find someone’s car partially blocking my driveway. i’d have to move one of our cars out, then squeeze the second car out of the driveway trying not to hit the inconsiderate jerk that blocked my driveway and then move the first car back in its driveway before heading to work. It didn’t start my day off very well. There were times that drunks from the west end bars completely blocked my driveway. It only took a couple of times for me to realize it was easier to park in front of my home rather than in my driveway. Illegal renters are just as big of a drain on this city as illegal aliens are to this country.

  9. Nobody. Use your garage for whatever you like. I’m just saying that unused driveways are part of the parking problem in the west end. Just putting it out there, not advocating the city rip up curb cuts and the such.

  10. Sorry for the delayed response, I’ve been traveling.

    The two people I know who were reported were both fined and the tenets evicted. Over the course of a month or two, inspectors ensured that stoves and other appliances and hookups indicative of apartments were removed. If the homeowner was cooperative and timely in their response, the city judge reduced the fine.

    And as for the driveways, that’s exactly what I’m saying. 3 cars, not a one in front of or in the driveway. Only time they use it is when they can’t find a spot (welcome to my daily life since their 3 cars are typically parked in front of my house for weeks on end). Even then, they promptly move when a spot on the street open up.

    I’m not advocating anything here, just saying it adds to the problem. It’s not my block, but I’d challenge anyone to take a drive/walk down Georgia (between Beech & Park), assess the situation and come back here to tell me I’m wrong.

  11. I hear you, Lorrie, but that sounds like the continuation of the problem, not the solution. Though still a pain and not helpful for getting to work on time, that sounds like an ideal place for the city to step up it’s currently nonexistent enforcement. That said, I’ve had someone block my driveway before and within 25 minutes of me picking up the phone, said car was being towed up the street.

    Your second point is an interesting one. Would be interesting to see a fiscal and economic analysis of the situation. Largest driver of our taxes, by far, is the public schools. Let’s say illegal renters constitute 5% of the city’s population (just a wild guess). If a majority of them are the 18-35y/o set, I’m guessing damn near zero of them have school aged children. On the other hand, nearly all of them are likely frequenting the city’s bars and restaurants at a higher rate than those of older age brackets. How do we think the cuty’s businesses would fare losing 5% of their best customers? Bit of a strawman, I know, but I trust you get my point that your assumption might not be as clear as you think it might be.

  12. I really hope this program works. When my children were growing up in another state every child had to bring a legitimate proof of residency in town to weed out who did not belong in the schools. The building dept. has to work with the Board of Ed on this.

  13. Excellent point, and most likely true. Also, when even more foreclosures pile up because people can’t afford their homes it will cause the values of the surrounding homes to weaken. Don’t think for a second this City will clean up illegal renters and then lower taxes as a reward, that’s just doe-eyed blind optimism.

  14. Let’s not stop at ratting out our neighbors for illegal housing. Turn in your friends and neighbors for just about anything (parking in front of a driveway, domestic arguments, smoking dope, messy yard, barking dog, loose cats and so on) worked well in communist Russia and in Castro’s Cuba.

  15. I hope most people realize that illegal apartments usually come about because people are taxed to death and need to help make ends meet. Hey, let’s pay every City employee $100,000+!!!! Should we pave the roads? No way, I need my pension!

    If your neighbor renting a 1 bedroom apartment to some 20-something is that much of a burden on your life, you should probably re-examine your own life.

  16. its not always so much the 2-3 20-somethings in the apartment creating the parking problem; it is in many cases the 10-15 friends who come out to stay with them every weekend

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