WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- As a partial solution to the ongoing housing dispute between the federal government and Westchester County, Gov, Andrew Cuomo and Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced Monday that local governments and non-profits will resume receiving affordable housing, community development and emergency shelter grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As a result of their efforts, approximately $5 million in HUD funding will go to local communities this year.
During a conference call, Lowey, D-Harrison, said, “The governor and I have found a creative solution so that going forward, HUD investments will once again be made in projects in Westchester. ... It's a very important issue that I have been working on for a very long time."
“This funding is an important resource for local governments and non-profit organizations in Westchester County that provide everything from affordable housing to public works improvements for their communities,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Our administration is proud to be joining with Congresswoman Lowey to make this funding available once again to the groups that need it most.”
Since 2011, HUD withheld nearly $23 million in federal grants that would have gone to a consortium of Westchester local governments and non-profits, because of an ongoing legal dispute over affordable housing.
Communities previously in the consortium can now competitively apply to New York state for funds, and approximately $5 million will be preserved for projects in Westchester this year.
County Legislature Chairman Michael Kaplowitz called the announcement "a win-win'' because the money will be set aside in "a lockbox earmarked for Westchester County."
Kaplowitz, D-Somers, was joined at a news conference by a bipartisan group of legislators who praised the proactive solution announced by Lowey and Cuomo.
"It's been a very long and difficult road,'' Kaplowitz said, while crediting his 16 legislative colleagues for working toward solutions.
"That helps Peekskill. That helps Port Chester. That helps everybody in between,'' Kaplowitz said.
The money set aside through Monday's announcement includes $3.3 million in Community Development Block Grants distributed by New York State Homes and Community Renewal; more than $600,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants, which can fund the renovation of buildings used as emergency shelters or transitional housing for homeless families; and more than $900,000 for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.