YONKERS - A breakthrough may have been reached in the ongoing affordable housing dispute between Westchester County and the federal government.
County Board Chair Michael Kaplowitz hopes that the federal government will believe the findings from court-appointed monitor James Johnson.
HUD has previously said that Westchester's analysis of local zoning laws for possible exclusionary provisions is inadequate. However, Johnson issued a report last year finding no actual housing discrimination in Westchester. He did find that in several of the 31 communities covered by the 2009 housing settlement that some zoning provisions had the potential to cause housing discrimination.
Kaplowitz said that all but one of those communities are well in the process of fixing those issues. He is hoping that HUD will now accept Johnson's analysis and free up more than $5 million in federal aid to local communities.
Republicans on the county board say they have doubts that HUD will accept the information. A spokesperson for County Executive Rob Astorino released a statement today calling the proposal extremely troubling, saying it rewrites the 2009 settlement. He says Astorino will vigorously challenge it.