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Westchester Lawmakers Move On Legislation To Save HUD Money

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A public hearing has been set for May 6 on a source of income bill, which county legislators hope will save Westchester’s $7.4 million in community development block grants from being reallocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

County Executive Rob Astorino submitted the legislation to the County Board of Legislators (BOL) April 24. If approved, it would ban discrimination against potential homeowners and renters based on their source of income. Wednesday, the BOL voted 12-0 to set a public hearing on the law.

“The County Executive’s Source of Income legislation needs to be advanced as quickly as possible to send HUD a message that we’re serious and eager about working together to follow the stipulations of the housing settlement,” Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), chairman of the BOL said in a statement. “Municipalities and not-for-profit organizations around the county are set to lose millions of dollars otherwise, and that will invariably end up hurting taxpayers. Fast action was called for, and today the Board delivered it.”

HUD has threatened to reallocate the $7.4 million in funds because it said the county has not complied with the 2009 Fair and Affordable Housing Settlement in addressing exclusionary zoning and source-of-income legislation. It set an April 25 deadline for the county to comply. Astorino submitted his source of income legislation to the BOL on April 24. On April 26, Astorino filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to block HUD from reallocating the funds.

A district judge denied the temporary injunction request because HUD had not yet made a final decision to reallocate the funds. The funds must be allocated to Westchester or another community by September or else they will be lost, Brian Sullivan, HUD spokesperson, has said.

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