Historic Settlement Requires Westchester County New York to Build Affordable Housing for Minorities
August 11, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Westchester County, New York, a county just north of New York City, agreed yesterday to build affordable housing for low-income people and minorities in predominantly White neighborhoods, as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that could set a precedent for how the federal agency will pursue housing discrimination and fair housing enforcement.
The agreement settles a lawsuit brought in January 2007 by the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, a New York fair housing advocacy organization. The suit alleged that the county received more than $45 million in federal funds yet falsely certified that it was complying with funding requirements of the Fair Housing Act to affirmatively ensure fair housing.
"The roots of residential segregation in our nation run deep, particularly for working class racial minorities struggling to overcome economic and discriminatory barriers that limit their ability to live in neighborhoods of their choosing...This historic settlement is only a first step in grappling with a persistent nationwide problem; but we know, with the strong leadership currently at HUD, we can expect more groundbreaking developments that will move us ever closer to a truly integrated society," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, in a statement.