Westchester in HUD Squeeze

July 16, 2011
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is starting to play hardball with Westchester County over its plans for affordable housing units.
     HUD is withholding federal money that is due Westchester because, the agency has said, the county's plans for adding "affordable housing" units within its borders don't adequately satisfy fair-housing laws.
     Local officials said Friday that HUD is overreaching its mandate and infringing upon local zoning rules.
     County Executive Rob Astorino plans to go to Washington later this month to ask HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to intervene in a standoff between the county and his agency over the implementation of a 2009 agreement that required Westchester to buy or develop affordable homes.
     That $63 million agreement required the county to allocate nearly $52 million for more than 750 homes, most in areas with few minorities.