Low-income leaders join Rev. Al Sharpton in fight for affordable housing in Westchester

Westchester's low-income communities risk losing $12.6 million in Westchester's low-income communities risk losing $12.6 million in grant money. Photo Credit: News 12

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WHITE PLAINS - Leaders from local low-income communities joined the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday in the fight for affordable housing in Westchester.

If the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development reallocates housing funding amid a dispute with County Executive Rob Astorino, the total loss of grant money for low-income communities would equal $12.6 million over the past two years. Much of those grant funds are typically fed straight on to local governments and nonprofits to help those in need.

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As News 12 has reported, the HUD says Astorino hasn't complied with a 2009 settlement, and is threatening to re-allocate funds.

On Thursday, the low-income housing dispute brought Al Sharpton to White Plains where he accused Astorino of discrimination, but he was not there alone. Local Westchester leaders from Greenburgh to Ossining also lined the steps of the County Office Building to talk about how the loss of the federal grant money is hurting the people they represent.

Westchester County Board Chair Michael Kaplowitz says the looming May 9 deadline is not enough time to come up with a definitive plan to meet the HUD's demands. Kaplowitz says he wants to bring both sides together, and has requested an extension on the deadline to do so.

The Westchester County Board says it will do whatever it can to make sure people get the funds they need.

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