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Westchester Legislators OK Lawsuit Against HUD Over $7.4 Million In Grants

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Westchester County legislators authorized a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development over its decision to reallocate $7.4 million in community development block grants, according to a Journal News report .

County legislators voted 12-4 on Monday to approve the lawsuit, three days before the April 25 deadline HUD set for the county to show it is taking steps to comply with the 2009 Fair and Affordable Housing settlement .

Specifically, HUD asked the county to address its zoning, which it has called exclusionary. Astorino disputes this , saying the county is in "full compliance" with the settlement and is ahead of schedule.

HUD has said it will reallocate the 2011 CDBG funds awarded to Westchester to other communities if it doesn't submit a plan to address exclusionary zoning and source of income legislation.

CDBG grants support public service programs that benefit low-income areas.

County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) asked HUD last week to extend its deadline from April 25 to May 25 to give it time to respond to the issues brought up. Jenkins said in his letter it would also allow the housing settlement monitor, James E. Johnson, to complete his analysis of exclusionary zoning in Westchseter. He is expected to complete his analysis in mid-May.

If an extension is approved, it would allow the county to respond to his findings, if he finds zoning to be exclusionary, Jenkins said in the letter.

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