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July 27, 2011-- County Executive Robert P. Astorino met in Washington D.C. Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan. Following the meeting, he met with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Nan Hayworth and Nita Lowey.

Here is a statement he issued:

"I requested a meeting with Secretary Donovan in an attempt to end the impasse created by his department's unprecedented bureaucratic overreaching in regards to Westchester's housing settlement. Our meeting was constructive and candid. Secretary Donovan commended the county for the progress it has made to date. We discussed the many issues surrounding HUD's enforcement approach and attempt to create new requirements beyond the original terms of the agreement. Our differences are many; key among them protecting home rule as it applies to local community zoning and costs that are currently projected to run more than twice the allocated amount agreed upon in the settlement.

We will continue our discussions next week, as these are complex matters. This is a process and I'm hopeful our dialogue will result in successful implementation of the settlement, while protecting the rights and interests of Westchester residents.

"Following that hour-long meeting with Secretary Donovan, I met with our other elected officials or their staffs to explain my concerns."