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Rockland County Enacts Home Rule Autonomy in Housing Act to Restrict External Housing Programs

Rockland County has established the Home Rule Autonomy in Housing Act, a new law to restrict outside municipalities from influencing local housing programs. The measure was taken following a State of Emergency earlier this year when New York City attempted to house homeless adults in the county, sparking concern among local officials.

The legislation, supported by the Rockland County Legislature and advocated by County Executive Ed Day, reinforces the county’s right to self-governance under New York State’s home rule principle. It requires a county-issued license for any housing program operation within Rockland, a move aimed at protecting local interests and taxpayer resources.

Violations of the law carry significant penalties, with individual misdemeanors attracting fines of up to $1,000 per day and potential jail time, while municipal corporations could face civil penalties up to $50,000 per violation per day.

This act comes in response to Rockland’s acute housing crisis, with the State of New York already having stepped in to aid with building and fire code enforcement in the Village of Spring Valley. County Executive Day likened the situation to an overloaded lifeboat, stressing the importance of maintaining the county’s capacity to ensure the general welfare of its residents.

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