'The hypocrisy is obvious.' North Amityville neighbors petition against home being rented without permit
A North Amityville home is being rented without a permit, causing some residents to believe the landlord is getting special treatment.
The owner, a pastor of a nearby church, sits on one of the Town of Babylon's board's and recently obtained the property from the town.
Tenants are now living in that home without a permit while an application for a rental permit is being reviewed.
Dozens of residents signed a petition asking for the application to be denied.
North Amityville residents are concerned that without a fair review of the tenants, the community could suffer.
"The hypocrisy is obvious," says Reggie Bagley. "The idea that someone on a board created to enforce rules--themselves is violating those rules is a huge question."
The home is owned by Bethel AME Church in Copiague. The pastor of that church, Keith Hayward, also sits on the Town of Babylon's Accessory Apartment Review Board.
Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer says the house was seized by the county for failing to pay taxes.
It had fallen into disrepair, was transferred to the town and then to the church as a housing nonprofit.
The church pays no money in taxes and Schaffer admits that Hayward should have known better.
Still, the town supervisor says it's better than having a for-profit landlord.
"Even though they're not paying taxes-they're not creating a cash cow for a landlord," Schaffer says. "The not-for-profits we have greater control over to be able to have the property kept up, improvements made to the property."
News 12 tried to speak with Hayward, but he refused.
The pastor has already appeared before the rental review board, but the property's rental permission is still pending.
The body will meet again on Wednesday.