Ramos Legislation to Curb Illegal Housing
May 7, 2004
Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced overwhelming bipartisan support for his legislation giving Suffolk County district courts the power to issue a summons against absentee landlords residing anywhere in the state (A.9440). Officials in Islip found they could not issue summonses because a law kept the town from serving them outside of Suffolk and Nassau Counties. The town is experiencing an increase in the number of illegal and substandard housing owned by absentee landlords. "Currently, the law only allows district courts to issue summonses within Suffolk and Nassau counties. If the absentee landlord has moved outside of Nassau or Suffolk, they can’t be held accountable for violations," Ramos said. "Once our district court has the power to hold them responsible, the quality of housing in the community will improve and the tax burden will be more fair." Ramos’ legislation has received extensive and enthusiastic support from various local and county officials, including County Executive Steve Levy and Islip Town Supervisor Peter McGowan, and various civic groups. Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has said that Ramos’ legislation would allow "Suffolk’s residents to obtain justice from those absentee landlords who flout local zoning codes to obtain greater profit." Michael Milazzo, President of the Brentwood Summit Council said, "The greatest benefit that I have experienced as chairman of the Brentwood Summit Council and a resident in our newly created district encompassing Brentwood, Central Islip and Bay Shore is that citizens with common issues and concerns can work together with our newly elected representatives to bring about positive and proactive change in meeting our goals. Working with Assemblyman Ramos and civic leaders from Bay Shore and Central Islip on the passage of this legislation is the best example of the effectiveness of representative government." "The growth of illegal multiple dwellings and other building violations needs to be addressed. By empowering the court to issue summonses, we will be able to improve the quality of life for all," Ramos said. "I urge the Senate to pass this legislation that is so important to the residents of our community."