SETAUKET - Residents are voicing renewed opposition to unruly off-campus housing for Stony Brook University students as police continue to investigate the collapse of a deck in neighboring Setauket that injured two people.
Investigators say the deck collapsed and fell 10 feet during a party attended by around 400 college students at a home on Old Field Road.
Officials say there were dozens of people on the deck when it collapsed. It crushed a couch and barbecue grill when it fell.
News 12 spoke to a student who lives in the house and he said there is no way he could have known that the deck was unstable.
Brookhaven Town officials are investigating the home and inspecting the condition of the deck, how many people were living in the house and if it was legal by town code.
News 12 spoke to neighbors in the area who say that Stony Brook University students have to find housing outside the university and that can lead to illegal conversions of homes in the community.
"It's just a nightmare for all of us," says Alan Steinberg, of the Stony Brook Homeowners Association. "The value of the houses has dropped drastically."
According to real estate records, the home is listed as a single-family, four-bedroom home. But neighbors say it's been packed with Stony Brook students since a new owner bought it last year. Friday's party was apparently a welcome party for those who just moved in on the university's "Move-In" day.
The new homeowner declined to appear on camera but claims that he is renting the home to four individuals, including one relative.
The university's dean of students says the school has about 10,000 on-campus beds for its 25,000 students, but adds that all incoming students who wanted on-campus housing were able to obtain it. The university plans to open a new residence hall with 350 more beds in the fall.