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White Plains Untouched By County Housing Agreement

Correction:  An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the 2009 HUD settlement was 72 percent fulfilled. It has been corrected to state that 72 percent of affordable housing units required under the settlement are in the development pipeline.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains may not be one of the 31 Westchester County communities designated eligible to build fair and affordable housing units as part of the 2009 HUD settlement, but the Deputy Commissioner of Planning Linda Puoplo said the city is still focused on making housing affordable.

Westchester County agreed to build 750 units of affordable housing in predominantly white neighborhoods over seven years in an August 2009 lawsuit settlement made with the Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC) and federal authorities.

The 31 communities that were chosen to build fair and affordable housing units were picked based on the 2000 Census information relating to diversity. The percentage of Hispanics and African Americans living in White Plains was beyond the threshold laid out in the settlement agreement .

White Plains has 322 units of affordable housing, in addition to other resources, such as public housing and Section 8, Puoplo said.

"We continue to develop that and grow that whenever a new project comes into town," she said.

The White Plains Housing Authority is planning to redevelop the Winbrook Housing Complex by replacing one of the five buildings, which represent 450 total units. The new 103-unit building would replace a 90-unit building, and include an education facility on the first floor, Puoplo said.

The city also has three affordable homes for sale, including one at 10 Odell Ave . through the Urban Renewal Agency, and two at 5 Minerva Place through Community Housing Innovations.

Donna Greene, a spokesperson for Westchester County, said 72 percent of the affordable housing units are in the development pipeline, and that they are ahead of most benchmarks, including securing financing for 200 units by the end of 2012. Greene said the county has done so for 207 units so far.

"We are way ahead of some of the benchmarks that are built into the settlement," Greene said. "The feeling is, despite some of the arguments that are still pending in courts, we continue to make progress on the actual requirement of the settlement."

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