Astorino Issues Warning About HUD Coming After New Yorkers
May 2, 2014
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY – Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino is warning New
York State residents that what has been happening to him lately, can happen also to them.
I want to talk to the people of Nassau County today — and Suffolk, and every other county in this state for that matter.
Because Andrew Cuomo’s old agency in Washington is about to come after you, and Mr. Cuomo is rooting for them.
Nassau County was sued this week by a so-called “social justice” group who says local zoning in Nassau is discriminatory.
The same thing happened in Westchester a few years ago, which is the vehicle HUD used to interject itself into our communities with the long arm of Washington.
Where most people — of any ethnicity — see sensible zoning policies, the HUD bureaucrats see discrimination.
That’s not only insulting, it’s inaccurate.
Local zoning doesn’t say WHO can live in any given community, its says WHAT can be built there in order to protect from overdevelopment. But Andrew Cuomo’s old agency disagrees.
HUD has declared that even quarter-acre zoning in Westchester may be “exclusionary.” Can you imagine that? Quarter-acre zoning? In the fourth most diverse county in New York State?
I’m sorry, but where I come from, anyone can live anywhere they can afford to. I can’t afford to live in half the communities in my county. But that’s not discrimination. It’s reality. It’s simple economics.
Not to the social engineers in Washington, though. So they recently announced a radical “fix” that could forever change the nature of America’s suburbs. Mr. Cuomo’s old agency is coming after towns, villages and municipalities nationwide to what they call “affirmatively further fair housing.”
What does that mean? It means HUD will work to dissolve zoning laws in suburban residential neighborhoods that limit height, size, density and types of construction. It means that every residential street in Westchester and Nassau counties — for starters — would have no protections against high-rises or housing developments of any kind in any neighborhood.
If HUD doesn’t get what it wants, it will withhold federal dollars — your money — from your town or village. Those dollars go to things like playgrounds, infrastructure, and, how ironic – even affordable housing programs. But the Washington bureaucrats don’t care who they hurt, so long as they can force THEIR vision of what a community should look like.
Last night in my State of the County address, I announced that Westchester will no longer accept Community Development Block Grant money from HUD. We’ll cover these costs ourselves.
The price of doing business with HUD is not worth it. Federal government overreach is out of control.
Westchester is proud of it’s diversity. We embrace it. It’s our strength. We don’t need Washington dictating how our communities plan and zone themselves. One can both embrace diversity and local zoning because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
Governor Cuomo is attacking me in expensive television ads for protecting Westchester communities from this Washington overreach — and the enormous property tax hikes it would bring.
I’ll proudly keep fighting for those communities because it’s the right thing to do — for everybody. But Mr. Cuomo will not. Because through his television attacks, he’s made it clear that he’s not rooting for Westchester, Nassau and other New York communities. He’s rooting for his buddies in DC.