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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a letter to Westchester saying its recently submitted housing settlement plan needs to provide more concrete details.
The letter was issued yesterday to Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett.
Housing and Urban Development Department spokesman, Brian Sullivan said, "While the County did a pretty good job of expressing the problem, they were silent on overcoming obstacles to fair housing." He added, "We have concluded at this point that the report is substantially incomplete and unacceptable.
Federal Housing Monitor James Johnson is once again giving Westchester County's Affordable Housing Plan the thumbs down. Johnson is now giving the County until August 9 to come up with a new set of revisions to the housing implementation plan.
The move comes just months after the County's second implementation plan submitted was rejected.In his latest comments, Johnson said the County failed to develop long term benchmarks and showed, "A lack of creativity" in how it plans to encourage municipalities to comply with the mandatory low income housing requirements.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Shaun Donovan, announced Tuesday that HUD is working to help speed federal disaster assistance to Westchester and five other counties in New York and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following last month's severe storms and flooding.
Late last week, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Westchester, Rockland, Orange,Nassau, Suffolk and Richmond Counties.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a statement on the revised implemementation plan submitted by Westchester County this past Friday. In the terse, two paragraph statement, HUD said, "We have seen two versions of the implementation plan and whiel the County has worked to improve it, there is still work to be done to set a clear strategy for promoting diverse, inclusive communities."
The statement continued, "The county must explain how it will utilize the full range of tools available to ensure the development of 750 new affordable homes in eligible high-opportunity communities and to overcome any anticipated barriers."
The statement went on to say, "It is again time for us all to work to ensure the County meets its fair housing obligations under the settlement and promote includeive, diverse communities throughout Westchester."
Westchester County today submitted a revised implementation plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to the federal monitor overseeing the county’s compliance with last year’s settlement of the fair and affordable housing lawsuit.
The revisions were produced after a series of discussions with James E. Johnson, the federal monitor overseeing the settlement, and representatives of HUD. Johnson asked for the revisions in February, saying the county’s initial submission lacked enough specific details in certain areas.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino met today with a federal monitor who is overseeing the County's implementation plan for the Fair and Affordable Housing Settlement it reached with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in August. The monitor, James E. Johnson, called today's meeting "productive" adding "There's more work to be done on the implementation plan. Today's meeting was held to discuss those concerns and go through the next steps."
Over the next month, Johnson says he expects teams from the County and Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct a aseries of meetings and discussions aimed at revising the implementation plan which is due back to him on March 12th. County Executive Rob Astorino says he welcomed the meeting today with the federal monitor and says "We are at the start of a long and complex process." Under the agreement, Westchester has agreed to build 750 units of affordable housing in the some of the County's wealthier neighborhoods.
Westchester County has submitted its implementation plan to the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development and to the federal monitor
overseeing the county’s compliance with last year’s settlement of the
fair and affordable housing lawsuit.
The plan details the framework for complying with the settlement entered
into by former County Executive Andrew Spano and approved by a majority
of the Board of Legislators. The settlement requires the county to build
750 units of new housing in 31 communities and to undertake marketing
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