WHITE PLAINS - Westchester County legislators are hoping to reach their own agreement with the federal government over affordable housing, in order to rescue millions in grants.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is withholding $5 million in grants due a zoning dispute with Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R). HUD has warned the money will go elsewhere unless the county submits more proof that its local zoning laws promote fair housing. Astorino says the county has met all the requirements and is accusing the federal government of bullying.
The initial deadline was May 7, but HUD has extended it by another month, at the request of Michael Kaplowitz (D), the chairman of Westchester's Board of Legislators. Kaplowitz says the Legislature will try to seek its own agreement with HUD.
Astorino says he refuses to budge, claiming Kaplowitz is trying to rewrite the settlement by removing protections for Westchester communities. He is planning to veto the legislation introduced by the board and Kaplowitz needs 12 legislators' votes to override the veto.