Astorino: People Need Affordable Housing, Let’s Build It

A lot of people questioned the wisdom of challenging the federal government. I felt like David and Goliath – or Lehigh vs. Duke, if you are a basketball fan.

On Friday, Westchester taxpayers won a major victory in the ongoing housing settlement dispute with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The federal magistrate agreed with the county’s fundamental contention that HUD had overreached in trying to make the county do things that weren’t in the 2009 settlement.

Our legal team argued a deal was a deal.  The magistrate agreed with us.

A lot of people questioned the wisdom of challenging the federal government.  I felt like David and Goliath – or Lehigh vs. Duke, if you are a basketball fan.  But we know how both those contests turned out.

The case is a major win for the county and the country because it shows there are limits to federal power.

This afternoon I held a press conference calling on HUD to immediately release $7 million in housing funds that they have held up while the court was deciding this case. Without this money, the county had to lay off workers and withhold finances for community organizations and local governments.

Enough is enough.  HUD is hurting the people it claims to help.  People need affordable housing.  Let’s build it.

Read my press release here.  I also encourage you to check out my quick reference page that contains the history of the housing settlement and what it means not only for Westchester County, but for communities across the nation.


Rob Astorino

Follow me on Twitter @WestchesterCE

or www.facebook.com/westchestergov


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PC Lover March 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM
What is good is affordable housing without affordable real estate taxes?
George Datino March 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Well, that's one of the points. The people who get affordable housing get affordable (relative term) real estate taxes since their taxes are based on reduced Assessed Values. So besides the tax payers subsidizing the purchase of the property, the local taxpayers get to subsidize the people who live in affordable housing year after year. It is a subsidy that keeps on giving!
George Datino March 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM
I wonder if anyone knows the answer to this question? From what I understand, when they construct the structures for affordable housing, they try and make the buildings blend into the surrounding area. Not quite sure how they do that, especially in instances where they stick multi-family dwellings into single family areas, but with that complete, how does the rest of the community view the people who live there? I mean, are the people who live there viewed as not members of the community? Are they viewed like parasites? I am not trying to be mean or demeaning. I am just wondering how in the other communities that this occurs, what are the ramifications? I mean what occurs when people are put into the middle of places that they are not wanted and other people feel resentment towards them because they have to help pay to support them for being there?
Blue March 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I think the housing should be reserved for young couples starting out , military personel coming back who need some time to adjust or community members with low paying jobs like teachers or new policemen. And it should be a 3-5 year stint in the home then you have to move up , move over or move on. I can live with subsidizing that.
Rich March 26, 2012 at 06:17 PM
...and those that are lucky enough not to need affordable housing need a place to live without ridiculously HIGH property taxes. Where do you find property taxes more than doubling in 8 years...right in Westchester. I think we now pay rent to the government to live in our own homes. Basic services (like schools, police, garbage pick-up) we receive have not changed much in the same period! When is New York going to get serious on the topic?


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