Thursday, November 29, 2012
Hempstead also has illegal conversion problem
Santos Herrera shared pictures of his six-year-old boy in front of the bedroom he died in when a bus slammed into the house Tuesday night. What was an apparent accident may now end in criminal charges however, but not against the bus driver.
The tragic Nassau County bus accident is exposing chronic problems in this town: rampant illegal pedestrian crossings and landlords running unregulated homes overstuffed with poor renters.
Landlord Leo DiLiberti, who owns multiple rental houses in Hempstead, was also at the home this morning with a crew demolishing what remained of the enclosed porch filled with mattresses and furniture. The Village has taken him to court previously for running a boardinghouse here and illegally converting the basement into bedrooms for a mother to use for her children. He pleaded guilty and paid a $500 fine. When asked about the six people occupying his first floor and whether the apartment is legal, he insisted it was legit, and defended it, saying, "What are you going to do? Sometimes they can't afford a regular apartment so they all have to chip in." But Village Inspectors were on the scene looking into whether the home was illegally converted.