Rockland County Passes “Home Rule Autonomy in Housing Act” to Control External Housing Initiatives

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Legislative Chair Jay Hood Jr. announce the establishment of a new law called the Home Rule Autonomy in Housing Act.

Back in May, the County of Rockland declared a State of Emergency in response to the City of New York planning on housing about 340 adult males in Armoni Inn and Suites in Orangeburg. The State of Emergency prohibited municipalities from bringing and housing people in the County and this new law now codifies that protection.

“This is a home rule state and New York City, has no authority in this County. This new law formalizes and prevents outside jurisdictions from unilaterally deciding to establish or operate shelters or housing programs in Rockland,” said County Executive Day. “This law is necessary to protect this County from other municipalities attempting to force their own policies, costs, and responsibilities on Rockland residents and I want to thank County Attorney Thomas Humbach for his tireless effort in crafting this law for our administration.”

The local law states that no municipality or property owner in Rockland County may participate in or establish a housing program without a license issued by the County of Rockland.

“This law is another important tool we can use to make sure Rockland County taxpayers and neighborhoods are protected,” Legislative Chairman Hood said. “I’d also like to thank Legislative Counsel Elana Yeger and Majority Leader Alden Wolfe for working long hours with the County Attorney to make sure the law would do exactly what it was intended to do, that is to make sure another municipality does not create a housing program within our borders.”

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor carrying up to $1,000 penalty per day and/or up to one year of incarceration. For municipal corporations, a civil penalty may be assessed for violations of this Article up to $50,000 per violation, per day.

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