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HUD to Westchester: More Work Needs To Be Done on Housing Plan
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.
The letter also expressed concerns about Westchester's "commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the settlement" and cited County Executive Rob Astorino's June 25, 2010 veto of the "Source of Income" legislation passed by the Westchester County Board of Legislators, something it says was a clear obligation in the settlement to promote.
In August 2009, Westchester entered into a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and HUD agreeing to build 750 units of fair and affordable housing in those parts of Westchester with the least racial diversity.
HUD says Westchester has until April 1, 2011 to make changes to the current plan.
Today, the Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Ken Jenkins(D-Yonkers) released a statement voicing his concerns over "yet another negative response" by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Yesterday's announcement from HUD is another repudiation of the direction and approach of this administration. From his veto of the Board's source of income legislation to his abrupt cancelling of the County's Section 8 contract with the state, Mr. Astorino has made every attempt to highlight his inability to take seriously the County's obligation towards fair and affordable housing," said Jenkins.
Ned McCormack, the County Executive's Communications Director and Senior advisor issued the following statement late in the day:"Putting the Analysis of Impediments together is an iterative and collaborative process," said Ned McCormack, Director of Communications and Senior Advisor. "We've been asked for revisions. We will review HUD's suggestions carefully and work with them to make revisions in time for the April 1 deadline."
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