On August 6th, the New York State Senate Committee on Investigations & Government Operations issued a report titled, Investigative Report on Code Enforcement in New York State.

Per the press release from Senator James Skoufis, Chair of the Senate Committee on Investigations & Government Operations  “The six month investigation found a systemic failure to prioritize code enforcement at all levels of government. The investigative report identifies common shortfalls, recommends sweeping legislative and regulatory changes, and urges both municipalities and the state to take code enforcement more seriously.”

Key findings include:

  • Inadequate training for code enforcement personnel;
  • Inadequate record keeping for tracking code cases;
  • Insufficient penalties for violations;
  • Difficulties associated with properties owned by LLCs;
  • Persistent vacant and abandoned buildings;
  • An upsurge in illegally converted properties;
  • Excessive delays and adjournments of cases; and
  • An overall lack of resources and support available to assist code enforcement programs;

Legislative recommendations include:

  • Provision of financial assistance to local governments;
  • Fulfillment of Code Council vacancies;
  • Department of State reforms;
  • Minimum statewide penalties for violations;
  • Cracking down on illegal housing;
  • Adequate remedies for noncompliance;
  • Limited liability company (LLC) disclosure and accountability;
  • Strengthening minimum standards of code enforcement personnel;
  • Rental property registries;
  • Vacant and abandoned building reforms; and
  • County government intervention

To view the press release, please click here.

To view the report, please click here.

To view a related media article from the Times Herald-Record, please click here.