Mastic Beach couple fights home condemnation
A couple from Mastic Beach says the village condemned their home while they were out to dinner over the summer.
On Aug. 28, Jackie Stretch and her boyfriend Donald Polinskie say they left their home on Dogwood Road for two hours, and returned to find it boarded up.
Village officials say they received at least 12 complaints that the couple was illegally renting out a room in their house. The couple says the person who the village thought was their tenant is just a family friend. They say he didn't live in the home.
Deputy village clerk Wendy Scharf says their code enforcement officer visited the home and he obtained a tenant affidavit, which was signed by the family friend. The affidavit gave the building inspector permission to inspect the premises.
Scharf says it was during that inspection that they found a number of health and safety violations, such as a flea infestation, black mold and a compromised structure.
The couple says their family friend is mentally disabled and didn't understand what he was signing.
The couple and family advocate Joe Johnson say the village had no right to condemn their home.
"They need help. They don't need their village working against them," says Johnson.
The village says once the couple has hired someone to make necessary repairs to the home, they can move back in.