Illegal apartments, according to some residents, are a widespread problem. Walz said that there are five illegal rentals on her block alone. “One of the illegal rentals has about 15 people in it,” she said. “There are a lot of kids in it, too.” Walz said she was concerned about the influx of children in the public schools whose parents are not paying their fair share of taxes. “It’s almost safe to say that everyone I know in West Hempstead knows of an illegal apartment on their block,” said added.
She said she believed the problem had worsened since the economic downturn in 2009.
Close agreed. “I live in a colonial-style home,” she said, “and my child went to a birthday party at the exact same style home as mine, and that house was divided into three apartments.” She added, “I’ve brought this problem up to the Board of Education numerous times, and they respond only with, ‘Every child needs an education’ and that the illegal housing isn’t their problem.”