U.S. District Judge Denise Cote got an update from the lawyers fighting over the reallocation of $7.4 million in federal community development grants Friday, with the U.S. attorneys saying they will move to dismiss the county’s action on June 21.
Westchester went to court on April 24 to try to stop the government from reallocating the money from 2011. In a court conference April 26, Judge Cote, who oversees the larger fair housing settlement, declined to issue a restraining order, saying the two sides had time to work out their differences.
Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kennedy said in a letter to the judge that the Department of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t expect to permanently reallocate the funds before July 15, when all the papers are proposed to be filed with the court.
HUD is withholding the grants because the county has yet to provide the agency with an acceptable analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, which is required under the 2009 fair housing settlement. The county made another attempt on April 24 but HUD said it was still deficient and gave the county until June 10 to provide assurances that it would provide an analysis that meets HUD guidelines. The county made a new submission Thursday that includes sample analyses of five town zoning codes to see if they will be satisfactory.
The county has also withdrawn two constitutional claims from the court action.