Astorino reiterates concerns about Westchester housing settlement

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At a Westchester County Association breakfast Thursday, County Executive Rob Astorino reiterated his determination not to bend to the federal government’s demands on the county’s fair housing settlement if he judges that those demands go beyond the language in the 2009 agreement.

One of two major disputes with the federal government is the fight over Astorino’s veto of legislation prohibiting discrimination against tenants who pay rent with Section 8 or other government income. Astorino said the bill requires landlords to do business with the federal government.

“That’s where I draw the line,” he said.

That dispute will be decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in December.

The second dispute is over whether local zoning is keeping white towns white. Astorino questioned how zoning could be called exclusionary if the county has been able to get 300 units required under the settlement in the construction pipeline. All of the county’s towns met the minimum standard of having some zones that allow multifamily housing, he said.

He accuses the federal government of wanting him to tell Westchester towns that they must break up their zoning and have no restrictions on building height, density, acreage, number of bedrooms, etc. He cites a May 13, 2011 letter that lays out a series of zoning issues the county must “address” and a requirement that the county identify town zoning that will prompt legal action or the withdrawal of funding.

“I think it’s crazy and I’ve absolutely drawn the line,” he said. “We are not going to do what the federal government is trying to require us to do if it’s not in the agreement.”

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8 Comments

  1. Good for Astorino. Unfortunately, we live in a time where gangsters (Cuomo, Obama, Holder, et al) are in charge of our state and federal governments.

  2. He should consider on

    what happened in yonkers when they threw down the gauntlet. I was and is not pretty.

  3. Astorino will squander our taxes for his short sighted political pandering platform. The man is ignorant of the consequences of fighting this court agreement and his handlers are too timid and too happy with their high paid county positions to go with common sense so they continue to kiss his behind in this matter.
    We need common sense now to avoid the multiplied high costs that an angry court will impose when it becomes evident that astorino is playing them for his political agenda of re-election and higher office on the public dime and public pension for himself.
    Face it: Astorino was a nothing before he got elected no matter what his phony puffed up resume says. He is using the same tactic for the appointees he is placing on the county payroll paid for by our taxes (his budget director, deputy budget director, others in the office as well as many other still undisclosed political hacks in many departments)

  4. the right thing to do on

    astorino is correct to challenge the parametes of the decree if he believes that HUD is going
    beyond what the court decision (which by the way andrew spano and bill ryan brought on
    this county by totally ignoring their responsibilty to build affordable housing in return for
    the federal largess they were more than happy to recieve) but once an appeals court makes
    its decision on what is and is not required that should be the end of astorino’s opposition..In
    fact he should make clear that he welcomes a court determination and if in fact the county
    has to do what HUD is demanding the blame is on spano and the democrats who were greedy
    and who misrepresented what they were going to do….Yonkers is an example that you
    do not put your finger in the eye of a federal judge in this district without risking a disasterous
    outcome that far exceeds what even the plaintiff in the initial suit wanted and if you remember
    the yonkers case michael sussman and the NAACP NEVER asked for busing and never
    asked for 4000 units of low income housing..they were happy with 200 units just to the
    east of the saw mill river parkway but three east side councilman attempted to use that
    proposed settlement to defy the court and pander to their constituencies..they got what they
    deserved…

  5. It is a shame that Mr. Astorino does not try to get this done, and all this time wasted will only drive the cost up for Westchester. He does not play well with others, and only appears to be extremely stubborn, when it comes to joint partnerships.

    He needs to get this done, and stop wasting time and tax dollars.

  6. Albany Observer on

    Rob is playing for the angry white vote, which he will get. He will blame the Feds for the penalties they impose, and will suffer no political damage w his base. He will be dead as a doornail seeking the Governorship. Way out of his league.

  7. the right thing to do on

    there is no angry white vote in westchester…eg see the election results Obama vs Romney
    there is no republican base that needs to be catered to….the republicans are behind in
    registration by about 150,000 votes..what people want is to see their government run
    responsibly and that means if HUD is atttempting to force upon westchester a housing
    plan that is outside of what the court mandates, astorino has an obligation to stand up and
    challenge it..that is not a waste of taxpayers dollars….and it does not drive up the cost
    of anything…what will drive down the value of homes is to place affrodable housing in
    zones that do not permit it rather than doing what he is now doing which is constructing
    them where they are permitted…and i believe he is in full compliance with the scope of the
    construction required to date…so why don’t you let this play out and see what the judge
    says..or do you simply want astorino to collapse because some special master from HUD is
    being impervious