Westchester County Legislators

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Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz’ Statement on HUD’s Acceptance of Analysis of Impediments

Michael Kaplowitz

“This is a positive day for Westchester County. We have come a long way toward satisfying the terms of the 2009 settlement and as one Legislator, I can say I finally see the finish line. The 750 units of affordable housing that the settlement required are at various stages of construction, We have studied our local zoning and most of the communities that were originally flagged have worked with the Monitor and HUD to make adjustments to zoning laws where those communities felt changes were appropriate.


“When it came to the Analysis of Impediments, I have not always agreed with the County Executive’s approach. At the Board of Legislators we have urged cooperation between the County Executive and HUD, we have tried to break the longstanding impasse by authorizing the Monitor to undertake certain elements of the AI like the Huntington Analysis and we have urged the County Executive to engage an independent consultant (which has now been done) to help our very talented county staff to complete and submit an AI that I am very happy to say has now been accepted by HUD. However, this fight cost us $24 million in CDBG monies that we will never get back.  


“As Chairman of the Board of Legislators, bipartisanship has been the hallmark of my relationship with the County Executive’s administration, as it has been with my colleagues. This issue highlighted our philosophical differences and drew some sharp elbows as we debated the best ways to work with HUD in implementing the settlement but at the end of this process, I and many of my colleagues have worked with the County Executive on the long and often arduous task of fulfilling our obligations under the settlement.


“This resolution to the AI does not mark the end of the affordable housing issue in Westchester County. A lack of affordable housing remains one of the most challenging dilemmas we face in this region. I look forward to continuing our partnership with the administration to build more affordable housing in all of Westchester's communities in a way that makes sense from a planning perspective without the imposition of quotas and directives from Washington. I will be looking to earmark funds in the 2018 budget to incentivize affordable housing development throughout Westchester County.


“I look forward to Westchester County Government getting back into the business of building common sense affordable housing that is economically viable.”

 

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