Statement from Ned McCormack, Director of Communications for Westchester County regarding HUD's March 25, 2013 letter to County Executive Robert P. Astorino:
The county's position is that it is in full compliance – in fact ahead of schedule – with the settlement's requirements and that HUD's most recent letter of March 25 is just one more example of the federal government trying to bully Westchester to do things that go far beyond the terms of the settlement and dismantle local zoning.
HUD's latest action of unilaterally demanding that the county give up either its constitutionally protected rights or $7 million that it was promised two years ago – money that goes not only to build affordable housing but to communities not involved in the settlement and most in need – shows that HUD has no regard or respect for fairness, due process and the judges of the U.S. Second Circuit who are charged with resolving this dispute.
The county is a year ahead of schedule in meeting the key benchmark of having 300 affordable units with financing in place by the end of 2013. As of today, the county has 305 units.
In all matters, the county has complied with the dispute resolution process outlined in the settlement. On the issue of source of income, the matter is now before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where the county is confident that the U.S. Magistrate's ruling in its favor will be upheld.
On the zoning issue, the county has supplied volumes of data as well as a thorough legal analysis showing Westchester's zoning is not exclusionary. The county would not be ahead of schedule in developing affordable housing in the 31 eligible communities if the zoning in those communities was exclusionary. The impasse is over HUD's refusal to accept the county's well documented conclusions.