Meeting held on SBU off-campus housing plan

A new plan for off-campus Stony Brook University housing was the subject of a meeting Wednesday night.

Bruce Sander is leading the fight against illegal housing near the college. His roughly 1,500 supporters are Stony Brook residents who say they are fed up with absentee landlords ruining their quality of life by taking residential homes and converting them into housing for college students.

On Wednesday, members of the Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners civic group met with Town of Brookhaven officials to discuss ways to fight the illegal housing. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine says he is increasing the staff of inspectors to crack down on absentee landlords in the Stony Brook and Setauket area.

Residents heard from a developer who wants to build 108 housing units for Stony Brook students near campus. The idea is to help ease the off-campus housing crunch.

Residents also plan to take absentee landlords to court.

"These are meant for single-family homes," Sander says. "We're going to be possibly looking at litigation against some of these landlords who've violated these covenants."

Sander and other leaders of the civic group are encouraging residents to report suspected illegal housing to town inspectors. They say everyone in the community must play a role in keeping up the pressure on absentee landlords.

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