Westchester County Legislators

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Legislator Gelfarb Honors Long-Time Community Volunteer, Descendant of Historic Rye Family

Legislator Gelfarb Honors Long-Time Community Volunteer, Descendant of Historic Rye Family

On Monday as part of the Board of Legislators annual Black History and Heritage Celebration, Legislator David Gelfarb (R) Rye Brook, Harrison, Port Chester, presented a Proclamation to Doris Bailey-Reavis of Port Chester in honor of her many years of civic-engagement including, serving as a Life Member and President of the Port Chester/Rye NAACP, a member of the Port Chester Strategic Planning Committee, the League of Women Voters, the Council... Read more

Released:02-17-2017 | See More _Newsroom

Legislators Tubiolo, Testa Introduce Legislation Banning Synthetic Marijuana

Legislators Tubiolo, Testa Introduce Legislation Banning Synthetic Marijuana

Legislator David Tubiolo (R) Yonkers, Mount Vernon, has proposed a Local law which would ban the sale or possession of chemical compounds known as synthetic marijuana in Westchester County. Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill, is co-sponsoring the Act which was taken up for discussion on Monday in the Board of Legislators (BOL) Legislation Committee. Read more

Released:02-16-2017 | See More _Newsroom

Democratic Caucus Introduces ‘Immigrant Protection Act’ --- Stands up Against President Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

Democratic Caucus Introduces ‘Immigrant Protection Act’ --- Stands up Against President Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Today, members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Democratic Caucus introduced an Act aimed to alleviate many of the concerns surrounding inhumane treatment of their immigrant brothers and sisters and the fear working with local law enforcement often instills in them.   The bill, titled the “Immigrant Protection Act”, codifies existing County policy while also drawing from model ordinances put forth by the New York Attorney General’s office... Read more

Released:02-08-2017 | See More _Newsroom

Westchester Democratic Caucus Join Fellow Citizens in Peaceful Resistance

Westchester Democratic Caucus Join Fellow Citizens in Peaceful Resistance

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Democratic Caucus attended various events throughout the County this weekend in solidarity with many of their neighbors. Hundreds of Westchester Residents came out in cold temperatures to show the peace and tolerance they believe are the true values of Westchester County. “To see members of the community unite together was truly inspiring,” says Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining). No matter... Read more

Released:02-06-2017 | 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, 2/27

B&A / INFRA 10:00 AM
LEG / PSSS 01:00 PM


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