Approximately 25 people found to be living in single-family home amid migrant crisis in New York

A single Halloween decoration sits outside of what Clarkstown officials describe as a real house of horrors.

Approximately 25 people are living in the single-family home that has been illegally subdivided and converted into single-room occupancies. Every room is occupied, even the attic.

In March, five people died in a fire at a home in Spring Valley that had been illegally subdivided. In response, Rockland County conducted numerous inspections.

“How does a first responder get in to rescue those people? And how do they get out? How does a landlord allow that to happen?” George Hoehmann, Clarkstown Town Supervisor

The subdivided homes, often referred to as “flophouses,” are found in suburban communities across the county. However, the recent migrant crisis in New York City has greatly increased the need for housing, and therefore multipled the number of illegal dwllings.

Local leaders are once again calling on the federal government for assistance in navigating this crisis.

“We can address it here, but it is an awful lot of work. It is going to include an awful lot of danger to both residents, and to firefighters, and to everybody else who is trying to help out. It has to be handled at the core.” Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

The county has gone to court to block motels from operating as shelters for asylum seekers being transported from New York City.

Clarkstown is now going after management companies which it says are profiting off the crisis by running illegal conversions. They have singled out one management company in particular, First Choice Management in Spring Valley, which lawmakers say manages dozens of locations in Clarkstown and over 300 in the Rockland County.

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