North Amityville home being rented by church without permit could soon be sold

The pastor of the church sits on the Town of Babylon's Accessory Apartment Review Board. Some residents say he's been getting special treatment because of his position with the town.

News 12 Staff

May 30, 2022, 9:24 PM

Updated 692 days ago


A North Amityville home that's being rented without a permit could soon be sold.
The house on Sunshine Lane is owned by Bethel AME Church in Copiague. Zillow estimates the house to be worth around $400,000 now.
Neighbors there spoke out in early April because the house is being rented illegally and the church doesn't have to pay any taxes. They claim there's special treatment because the landlord, Pastor Keith Hayward, sits on the town's Accessory Apartment Review Board. His rental permit is still pending.
The property was transferred to the church for $1 in 2017.
Neighbors want to know what the church will do with the profits from the sale.
"What are they going to do with the money?...Is it going to be put into some charity organization? What is the church doing?" said Dianne James, of North Amityville.
The colonial home is part of a historic Black community called the Jefferson Estates.
Over the phone, the pastor said he might keep renting the property or sell it. He would not say anything else.
Some residents say they don't mind if the home is rented out, especially if it's helping a family in need. They want the church's rental permit to be approved.
News 12 reached out to Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer but has not heard back. News 12 interviewed him in April and at the time, he said the town prefers delinquent properties to go to housing nonprofits like the church rather than being auctioned off and potentially creating a cash cow for landlords.

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