Westchester affordable housing dispute puts improvement projects in doubt
YONKERS - The ongoing dispute between Westchester County and the Department of Housing and Urban Development over affordable homes is putting improvement projects in doubt.
If County Executive Rob Astorino does not agree to HUD's demands by next week, $200,000 in federal aid for improvement in downtown Peekskill will be lost.
Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina says he's not taking sides in the controversy, but he feels HUD is victimizing Peekskill.
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"Because they're having a conflict with the county executive, let's get him back and give the poison to Peekskill ... it just doesn't make sense," he says.
Last week, the Rev. Al Sharpton told reporters outside the County Office Building in White Plains that his supporters will dog Astorino as he runs for governor until he gives into HUD's demands. One official joining Sharpton is Ossining Mayor William Hanauer.
Street improvements near the Ossining Metro-North station are among the victims of HUD withholding funds. Hanauer says that Ossining had to come up with all of the $745,000 price tag for the work after it lost a $325,000 federal grant.
Ossining and Peekskill are not part of the affordable housing settlement.
County Board Chair Mike Kaplowitz has offered to have the board intervene in the dispute, but he wants an extension of HUD's deadline so an alternative can be drawn up.
There's no word yet if HUD will agree to his offer.