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Court Rules Against Westchester In Federal Affordable Housing Case

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has fought the federal government over fair housing requirements for years.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has fought the federal government over fair housing requirements for years. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A federal appeals panel has found that Westchester County has failed to comply with the fair housing requirement of its 2009 settlement.

On Friday, an appeals panel unanimously voted that the county had failed to live up to its requirement to create fair and affordable housing in Westchester and was “engaging in total obstructionism.

The latest failed appeal is the seventh the county has lost in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

“All of these appeals have been rejected, and it is apparent the county is engaging in total obstructionism. The county would be well-advised to stop making excuses and to complete its obligations under the consent decree with diligence and dispatch,” the ruling read.

Following the ruling, Ned McCormack, Westchester County’s Communications Director and a senior adviser to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino issued a statement disputing the vote McCormack said Westchester has complied with court’s ruling to develop affordable housing.

“We are surprised by the court’s comments given the county’s continuing effort under the direction of Judge (Dennis) Cote to conclude the settlement. In December, the county exceeded the fundamental goal for developing affordable housing units,” he stated.

“The settlement required 750 units and the county proudly delivered 790 units within the required time frame and has an additional 100 units in the pipeline.”

McCormack noted that the county has obliged by Cote’s rulings and opinions and has worked diligently to fulfill its requirements.

“Since Judge Cote’s opinions last summer, the county has worked with the new monitor and consultant approved by the monitor to complete its two remaining obligations – the ‘One Community’ educational campaign and the Analysis of Impediments. Given that the One Community campaign is already under way and the monitor-approved consultant, VHB, has found no evidence of exclusionary zoning based on race, we are confident the remaining requirements can be met and the settlement concluded in a timely manner.”

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