Westchester County Legislators

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Legislator Testa Urges State Legislators to Preserve Fund for Communities Affected by Indian Point Closure

Legislator Testa Urges State Legislators to Preserve Fund for Communities Affected by Indian Point Closure

On Monday, February 12th, at a joint meeting of the Committees on Legislation, Budget & Appropriations, Public Safety and Intergovernmental Services, Minority Leader John Testa added to the BOL Joint State Legislative Package an amendment to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal to include additional funds for the Electric Generation Facility Cessation Mitigation Program. There is no contribution to this fund in the Governor’s Proposed NYS Budget. Read more

Released:02-16-2018 | See More _Newsroom

Shari Gordon interviews Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia

Shari Gordon interviews Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia

February 2, 2018 WVOX AM Radio 1460 Read more

Released:02-09-2018 | See More _Newsroom

Westchester County Board of Legislators Takes Historic Step: Bans Gun Shows on County-owned Property

Westchester County Board of Legislators Takes Historic Step: Bans Gun Shows on County-owned Property

White Plains, NY — Last night at the February 5, 2018 meeting of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the Board voted 12 to 5 along party lines to ban gun shows on County-owned property, with all twelve Democratic legislators voting affirmatively. Read more

Released:02-06-2018 | See More _Newsroom

A Great Day Toward Climate Action

A Great Day Toward Climate Action

On February 3, Bedford2020 hosted their Climate Action Summit at Fox Lane High School.  More than 700 citizens attended this full day event, including over 110 government officials from the town, county and state levels. Topics included: renewable energy, electric vehicles, soil and forestry and the carbon tax.  A special breakout session for government officials presented a unique opportunity for representatives to discuss the critical issues each of their communities... Read more

Released:02-05-2018 | 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, February 19

HOLIDAY - Office Closed
   
Wednesday, February 21
APPTS 03:00 PM


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