Government Report Shows Illegal Construction Rampant in New York

A new government report on the construction industry shows serious defects in compliance across the state. Released by Senator James Skoufits, he says the report shows that, “Firefighters are going to die. Tenants are going to die if the state and local officials do not start prioritizing code enforcement.” According to the Senator’s ‘bombshell’ report, the problems with regulating the industry are widespread and involve everyone from the executive branch to the local municipalities.

Released in August 2019, the report details serious dangers with the state’s construction industry. According to NBC New York, the report specifically faults:

  • Inadequate training for code enforcement personnel
  • Inadequate record-keeping
  • Insufficient penalties for violations
  • Difficulties associated with properties owned by LLCs
  • Persistent vacant and abandoned buildings
  • Upsurge in illegally converted properties

According to report, “Exposed wiring, no means of egress, illegal conversions, absence of smoke detectors and rodent infestations, are just the tip of the iceberg for egregious violations found in homes across New York State.” The Town of Ramapo is the most egregious offender, according to the Senator’s report which says the Rockland County town “has systematic fundamental problems when it comes to code enforcement.”

Because its violations are even more egregious than the rest of the state, the report recommends an independent monitor be set up for the town to quickly move the city’s buildings into compliance with the building code. Mount Vernon, in Westchester, also appeared to deserve special ire from the Senator who described a “hell-scape.” Sen. Skoufits told NBC New York, “There is only one code officer in a city of 70,000 people. It is outrageous.”

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