WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino took steps Wednesday to keep $7.4 million in federal housing and development funds from being diverted elsewhere, calling recent statements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “extortion.”
HUD had previously said it would reallocate the funds if the county did not comply with the Housing Settlement terms.
Astorino is calling for a formal hearing with HUD, as well as asking the County Board of Legislators to file a lawsuit with HUD over the reallocation of funds. Astorino also asked county legislators to resubmit source-of-income legislation to comply with last week's ruling from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals .
“In a nation of laws, the rules apply to everyone and that includes HUD,” Astorino said in a statement. “If HUD has issues, there is a process to be followed. What HUD is doing is extortion based on nothing more than its unsupported opinions. The county is asking for nothing more than to be treated fairly under HUD’s own rules.”
At issue in the argument is zoning laws throughout the county, which HUD said are exclusionary. County officials have disputed this. Astorino said Wednesday the county was in “full compliance” with the settlement and is ahead of schedule.
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