Position Statement on Recent Actions by HUD Concerning Westchester County
Our Chapter is concerned about effects to Westchester County (the “County”) from the actions recently taken by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD or “the Agency”) with regard to the use of Community Development Block Grants. In a letter sent to Deputy County Executive Plunkett in April of this year, HUD indicated its rejection of the County’s FY2011 Action Plan, effectively blocking over 6 million dollars from flowing to the County and its member municipalities. The Chapter believes this action is harmful to the overall planning and development of affordable housing in the county.
HUD’s position stems from an administrative determination that the County has not fulfilled its obligations under a 2009 Stipulation and Order of Settlement regarding a lawsuit over alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. Among other things, the Stipulation requires the construction of 750 affordable units over a five-year period to be distributed among 31 communities and that the County perform a detailed assessment of remaining barriers to affordable housing. The Agency specifically cites deficiencies in the County’s Analysis of Impediments and a lack of enforcement of municipal zoning practices.