Working closely with the federal housing monitor and his team, Westchester County has submitted the latest update of its implementation plan for building the fair and affordable housing and complying with other obligations required by last year's settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The 46-page implementation plan provides further detail around the county's plans and processes for building 750 units of fair and affordable housing in 31 communities. The new plan is the product of numerous conference calls and extensive pre-submission discussions between Westchester officials and the federal monitor's team, all of which were designed to address previous questions and issues raised by the monitor in July.
The revised implementation plan has been posted on the county's Web site. The many appendices will be posted by Wednesday.
Specific areas of concentration include:
- The county's expertise and capabilities with respect to underwriting and financing fair and affordable housing
- The rationale behind why 10 percent should be established as the standard for how many units in residential developments should be set aside for fair and affordable housing
- The obligations municipalities have to promote fair and affordable housing as recipients of federal Community Development Block Grants and participants in Urban County Consortium Cooperation Agreement and the penalties they can face for failing to meet those obligations
- The sizes, settings, and configurations of the types of developments the county plans to build or rehabilitate
- The strengths and weaknesses of various financing arrangements, such as revolving loans
- Timetables for reaching milestones
- Targets for meetings with developers and municipal officials
- The marketing and outreach efforts that will be undertaken by the county.
"This revised implementation plan demonstrates the county's ongoing commitment to work with the monitor and his team to bring more fair and affordable housing to Westchester," said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. "The county is working hard and progress is being made."
By design, it does not include properties under consideration for development. Instead, its purpose is to provide a blueprint for how properties can be developed to comply with the settlement.
Copies of the plan along with supporting documents in multiple appendices were sent to James E. Johnson, the federal monitor overseeing the settlement, and representatives of HUD on Monday, meeting the deadline for their submission set by the monitor in July.
The monitor can now accept the implementation plan, reject it or ask for further modifications. No date has been set for when he will complete his review.
The settlement was entered into by former County Executive Andrew Spano and approved by the Board of Legislators.