Ken Jenkins, Candidate for Westchester County Executive, Responds to the Latest Housing Settlement

YONKERS, NY — May 1, 2017 — Last week a federal appeals court found that Westchester County failed, for the 10th time under Astorino’s management, to comply with the fair housing requirements set up by the 2009 settlement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“This is just another example of Astorino’s extraordinarily bad management,” said Jenkins. “It’s Rob choosing to try to fight a losing battle — at the expense of those of us who live here. It’s petty. And it hurts Westchester.”
The panel found that Westchester failed to use all available means to counter those opposed to an affordable housing project in New Castle. Westchester could be subject to losing hundreds of millions more because of Astorino’s mismanagement.

“Astorino has lost control,” said Jenkins. “He is acting in violation of the settlement agreement made with HUD, and fighting the federal government every step of the way. Astorino’s bad management could leave Westchester on the hook for $500 million if the Court agreement is vacated.  If a Court determines that Westchester is incapable of executing, the Court could order an outside agency to execute. We can no longer let this stand.”

Astorino’s efforts over the last eight years have not passed muster. He boasts having created 790 affordable housing units, many of which HUD has deemed fraudulent. Instead of working with the Federal government and local municipalities to resolve any concerns, Astorino has dug in and has spent millions and millions of dollars doing it. Westchester is now ineligible to receive community development block grants, resulting in more than $25 million in losses due to his, as the court states it, ‘total obstructionism.’ Not to mention Westchester stands to lose more than $180 million more if Astorino stays this course.

“It’s disgraceful,” said Jenkins. “We in Westchester have the highest property taxes in the Country, making single-family homes impossible to afford for many. Astorino should fight for that, for all of us in Westchester. Not conduct a losing fight that could cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. Chock it up to just another bad deal.”