McGowan Joined Minority Members to Squash Squatting Problem in New York

Assemblyman John McGowan (R,C-Pearl River) was joined by members of the Assembly Minority Conference today to address the growing issue of squatting in New York City, and needed changes to state property laws. Landlords and small property owners were in attendance to express their emotions, as these “squatters” have been granted more rights than the landlords. The introduced proposal (A.6894) would add squatting to the definition of criminal trespass to hold those individuals accountable by law.

Nadia Vitels was a woman who was traveling to her deceased mothers house in Manhattan, only to be greeted by two squatters who had been living in the empty home. The squatters were responsible for the murder of Nadia, stuffing her body in a duffle bag. Another case came from Queens, where a woman was arrested for changing her locks in order to prevent squatters from reentering the property.

“The fact that we had to reach this point is unbelievable. A woman has been murdered by people who had clearly trespassed into her home, but we still have laws in place to protect the trespasser. This is completely unacceptable. We need immediate change and these “squatters” need to answer for their actions,” said McGowan.