Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I’m happy to report that a court-appointed monitor has found that Westchester has “substantially met its obligations” under a 2009 federal court settlement to build and promote more fair and affordable housing across a range of income levels throughout the County.
The monitor’s report is great news. It draws to a close a sad chapter in the County’s history, when prior County Executive leadership fought against our legal and moral obligation to housing affordability and equity. In County Executive George Latimer, the Board of Legislators has had a strong partner committed to fulfilling those obligations, and together we have done so.
Working with the County Executive’s office, our planning department, municipal officials and private developers, over the last three years we have approved hundreds of units of affordable housing, beyond just those required under the settlement.
In 2020 alone, we approved developments that will bring 530 new units of affordable housing to the County. We unanimously passed a capital budget for 2021 that adds $20 million in new appropriations for land acquisition and the build-out of infrastructure to support affordable housing. And we implemented a policy of requiring that at least 10% of units meet affordability guidelines in any proposed residential developments on County-owned land that come before us.
Access to fair and affordable housing is essential to maintaining the quality of life for all residents of Westchester County.
Our well being depends on seniors having the chance to afford to remain their communities, young adults and working families having a shot at an affordable life, and strengthening our community bonds through diversity and opportunity.
Our obligations under the 2009 court case may be coming to an end, but our commitment to fair and affordable housing is stronger than ever. A Housing Needs Assessment released by the County in November of 2019 found that the County requires more 11,700 new affordable housing units, so our work is just beginning.
Read the Monitor’s Assessment at https://www.