MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. Mount Vernon won't get any of the 750 units of affordable housing pledged to Westchester County as a result of a lawsuit ordering that the units be built in mostly all-white communities.
Legal issues in the case remain, and ust last week a federal judge ordered the county to stop dragging its feet in complying with the terms of the settlement. Still, construction of affordable housing has already begun throughout Westchester.
Twenty-six affordable housing units have officially opened, and 23 units have been completed so far this year. More than 200 units have financing in place, and more than 100 units have building permits. A total of 542 housing units are in the pipeline, according to the countys quarterly report.
Mount Vernon resident Katia Robertson disagreed with the decision not to build any of the units in the city. Few residents of the south side have much money, so there should be more affordable units for them, she said.
"I'm a low-income person myself, and I'd definitely be interested in having more affordable housing units be built," Robertson said. "Mount Vernon needs them."
Resident Diane Bimbo, who also lives in public housing, said it's a good thing Section 8 is offered to residents living in public housing. But she added that there are not enough units for everyone who needs them.
"A lot of people are being paid minimum wage and can't afford to live anywhere else," Bimbo said.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who lives in Mount Pleasant, which has no plans to build affordable housing, says the county has complied with the suit. He disputes the contention that the county's zoning is exclusionary.
It is hard to see how our zoning is exclusionary if we are ahead of schedule when it comes to actually building the housing, Astorino said in a statement .
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