Heavy-handed HUD in Westchester NY

Requiring that it “acknowledge its legal duty ” to HUD’s housing requirements and “amend its zoning” for county municipalities, the County of Westchester New York is a harbinger for oppressive federal mandates that could be imposed on state and local lawmakers if the controversial RhodeMapRI plan is adopted as the state’s official economic development plan, even without any action from Rhode Island’s General Assembly, the state’s primary legislative body.

In a letter to Westchester County officials by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in April of 2014, the federal agency  resorted to heavy-handed tactics to impose its bureaucratic vision of fair-housing on the citizens of the county, superseding the local zoning ordinances developed by the duly elected representatives of the people, even taking the extreme position of referring to existing county policies as “exclusionary zoning practices”.

If adopted by the state’s Planning Council, RhodeMapRI would pave the way for Rhode Island’s cities and towns to receive HUD grants and, in doing so, become victim of similar arbitrary tactics.

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