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HUD threatens to pull over $7 million in funding to Westchester

WHITE PLAINS – The US Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday threatened to reallocate $7.4 million in fiscal year 2011 funding For Westchester County's community development block grant and other federal programs.

“To date, the county has not provided satisfactory certification that it will comply with its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing as part of its FY2011 Annual Action Plan,” HUD Director of Community Planning and Development Vincent Horn wrote to County Executive Robert Astorino.

Horn told the county executive the funds will expire on September 30, 2013 if the county does not submit by April 25, “substantive assurance that the county will comply with its civil rights obligations.”

County Legislator Catherine Borgia, chairwoman of the Government Operations Committee, put the blame on Astorino and said any financial implications will fall back on all taxpayers of the county.

“I think it’s really a disgrace that we’re not able to work more collaboratively with HUD in order to provide benefits to the people of Westchester County,” Borgia said. “In addition, it creates potential liability that will impact all of the residents of Westchester County.”

Astorino has been at odds with HUD claiming it imposed stipulations on the county that were not part of the original plan to build housing for low-income residents.