Westchester County Legislators

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Westchester Completes Agreement with White Plains to Improve Emergency Services

Westchester Completes Agreement with White Plains to Improve Emergency Services

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) During last night’s Board of Legislators meeting, an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) between Westchester County and the City of White Plains was approved to provide the City with a 2002 Equipment Response Vehicle (ERV) for use when responding to calls within New York State Counter Terrorism Zone 3.  White Plains will pay the County $1 every year for the next 4 years for the enhancement to their public... Read more

Released:07-19-2016 | See More _Newsroom

BOL Chair, Minority Leader React to Hiring of Police Officers

BOL Chair, Minority Leader React to Hiring of Police Officers

The bipartisan coalition of Legislators who passed the 2016 County Budget announced on Wednesday that the 3 County Police Officer positions that they had restored to the Department of Public Safety have been filled.  The new hires are law enforcement professionals currently working in local municipalities.   Following a short training period, the Officers will be assigned and on patrol this summer. Read more

Released:07-14-2016 | See More _Newsroom

Board of Legislators Unanimously Passes Measure to Increase Access to Voter Registration Forms

Board of Legislators Unanimously Passes Measure to Increase Access to Voter Registration Forms

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) On Monday, June 20, 2016 the Board of Legislators unanimously approved a measure authored and introduced by Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) which requires County buildings to display and distribute voter registration forms, colloquially known as the “Boykin Bill.” Read more

Released:06-22-2016 | See More _Newsroom

Legislator Francis Corcoran Announces Funding for New Salt Storage Facility in Bedford

Legislator Francis Corcoran Announces Funding for New Salt Storage Facility in Bedford

  Legislator Francis Corcoran, (R) Bedford, announced that the Board of Legislators has authorized the transfer of $175,000 from the East of Hudson Water Quality Investment Program (WQIP) Fund to support the construction of a salt shed facility on Adams St. in Bedford Hills.  The shed is intended to contain the Town’s road salt reserves which will prevent the salt from leeching into the Reservoir. The funds will be provided to... Read more

Released:06-21-2016 | See More _Newsroom

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Westchester Legislators Approve Source of Income Legislation

Legislation

“Landmark” Bill Slightly Modified from Version Submitted by County Executive Astorino

 

White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) approved tonight legislation banning discrimination against potential renters and home buyers based on their source income. The legislation, which has long been sought by advocates for fair and affordable housing, was a slightly modified version of the Source of Income legislation submitted by County Executive Rob Astorino to the BOL in April, and which he’d previously vetoed in 2010.

 

The vote for approval of the legislation was 15-2, with legislators David Gelfarb (R-Rye Brook) and Michael Smith (R-White Plains) voting against it.

 

The one modification for the bill was to change a single exemption. Previously, a landlord living in and owning a rental property with four or less units and maintaining ownership or part ownership in another property of four or less units would be exempted from the law. The modified Source of Income legislation now simply exempts landlords and owners of one property of six or less units.

 

“This legislation will protect seniors, veterans and low-income working families struggling to find an affordable place to live and who depend on government assistance to get by,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “No form of discrimination is acceptable in Westchester. Our communities will be stronger because of this legislation, which my colleagues on the Board of Legislators should rightfully be proud of.”

 

The Source of Income legislation, which was passed by the BOL in June 2010 but vetoed by County Executive Astorino, received more scrutiny by the County Board than any other local law in recent years, noted Jenkins. In addition to numerous committee meetings, there were several public hearings, with a variety of stakeholders providing comment, including landlords, tenants, realtors, tenant advocacy groups and business groups.  During a process of “extensive discussion and comment,” the legislation was re-drafted several times, ultimately resulting in the June 2010 legislation.

 

Westchester County was notified by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that it would risk having $7.4 million in 2011 Community Development Block Grant  (CDBG) funds reallocated if Astorino failed to take steps toward promoting Source of Income legislation, as stipulated in the fair and affordable housing settlement between the County and the HUD. Moreover, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara demanded that the County Executive resubmit to the BOL the Source of Income legislation and provide written assurance he would sign the legislation, if passed by the BOL, or risk contempt of court charges and crippling fines against the County.

 

HUD has since declared that the County’s 2012 and 2013 CDBG funds, now totaling $17 million, are also at risk.

 

Although the legislation bans source of income discrimination, it allows landlords to use reasonable business judgment and level of income in evaluating potential tenants. The legislation, which does not apply to cooperative apartments and condominiums, will sunset in five (5) years unless re-enacted, and it includes a 180-day phase-in period. Also, the County will conduct public education and outreach to inform the public about the new legislation once it is signed into law.

 

“The Board of Legislators has done everything possible to help County Executive Astorino promote Source of Income protections for county residents and move Westchester closer to full compliance with the housing settlement,” said Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains), chair of the BOL Legislation Committee. “Now, it’s up to him to show the federal authorities that he’s serious about moving forward with the settlement and protecting our CDBG funds.”

The Week at the Board

Monday, 7/25
B&A, INFRA, PSSS,
E&RE, LPPH

10:00 AM
APPTS 12:00 PM
LEG, CCRTF 01:00 PM


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