County Executive Requests Hearing With and Authorization to Sue Federal Agency
In New York, the Westchester County Executive is asking a federal agency for a hearing after being told that funding would be taken away from the county. The warning came in a letter, and is based on claims the county has failed to comply with a fair housing agreement.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has written to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding HUD’s intent to reallocate $7.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds based on the agency’s assessment that Westchester has failed to comply with various aspects of a 2009 affordable housing settlement. That agreement was reached under then-County Executive Andrew Spano, a Democrat. The Republican Astorino calls HUD’s actions arbitrary and capricious, and alleges HUD is going beyond the settlement agreement.
In addition to requesting a formal hearing with HUD, Astorino wants to go a step further.
And the Board of Legislators is meeting today to discuss this very issue. Peter Harckham is the Democratic Majority Leader on the county’s Board of Legislators. He says all 17 legislators will have the opportunity to ask questions of the county attorney and deputy county executive. And Harckham alleges Astorino has not provided to HUD what he should.
Yet Astorino alleges HUD has tried to expand the terms of the settlement.
And here’s Harckham.
Astorino alleges HUD is wielding its power based upon unsupported opinions.
Harckham, whose district includes Bedford, Mount Kisco, and North Salem, says it is possible an act to authorize the county executive to sue HUD could come during a special board meeting Monday, though much is dependent upon the outcome of today’s meeting and other possible meetings this week.