By Staff

Jul. 20, 2016:  Westchester County has been ordered by federal judge Denise L. Cote to hire a consultant to study the barriers to fair housing in most of its communities.

According to a July 8, 2016, article in the New York Times, the decision is a result of a request by a federal monitor who had overseen the implementation of a 2009 consent decree between the county and the federal government requiring that 750 affordable housing units be built in 31 "overwhelmingly white municipalities" and requiring that the county submit to "analyses of impediments" to affordable housing to ensure that its municipalities do not use exclusionary zoning practices.

The article explained, "The county has since submitted several of the analyses, arguing each time that none of the county’s municipalities have exclusionary zoning. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] has rejected them all as inadequate."

County officials must choose a consultant, who will have four months to recommend any zoning changes.

The article says, "Westchester officials said they will appeal the ruling and seek an immediate stay of the order" and notes that Edwin McCormack, a spokesman for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, pointed out that "nationwide, HUD no longer requires communities that receive government money to submit" such analyses.

For more details, click here for the New York Times article on the ruling.

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