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.
Follow me on Twitter @WestchesterCE