HUD withholds county’s federal funds over fair housing plan

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is reporting that HUD has rejected Westchester County, NY‘s certification that it is affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH). In doing so, HUD disapproved the County’s FY11 Annual Action Plan to the Consolidated Plan, resulting in a halt to the receipt of more than $7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds. HUD is taking this action after rejecting Westchester’s revised Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) because it did not incorporate corrective actions demanded by HUD in a May 13, 2011 letter.

According to the July 13, 2011 letter, the county’s revised Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing is not acceptable. Two of the main issues are:

  • Providing plans to promote and secure passage of source of income protections. Legislation had been approved earlier by the County Board of Legislators, but was vetoed by the previous County Executive.
  • Promoting plans to overcome municipalities’ exclusionary zoning practices. HUD called for a legal strategy to identify specific zoning issues the County’s municipalities that the County will challenge, along with a list of steps the County will take if municipalities do not enact changes within three months of receiving notice.

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