Feds Accusing NYC Suburb of Segregation?
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino weighs in on controversy
- Duration 7:16
- Date Sep 7, 2011
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino weighs in on controversy
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It was a case of big government overreach that has local officials in one county in New York protest thing.
-- there right about local governance has the Obama administration officials fight to impose their vision of so called diversity.
Our very own Ainsley Earhardt has the story.
Thank you Sean we're in the suburbs of Manhattan this is Westchester county New York.
Where Johnny officials are in an all out brawl with the Obama administration's.
Department of Housing and Urban Development otherwise known as high.
Back in 2009 -- county officials here agree to build 750.
Affordable housing units that look just like bees the construction is still ongoing in -- a year ahead of schedule.
However county officials are now -- sat saying they are getting a litany of outrageous demands from DC.
-- -- -- Westchester County is new wife and the houses are too expensive.
It may thirteenth letter had ordered county officials to explain and analyze.
Westchester -- long history of segregation.
And fix it.
Westchester County mostly Caucasian.
Has never been -- Well and what -- is trying to do is create this war of segregation administration officials as soon segregationist to blame for Westchester racial composition.
But county officials see other factors at work -- categorically reject the fact that it.
That it's race that has driven the formation of the neighborhoods people live in the areas driven by economic realities.
Driven -- Clearly ties.
And the Obama administration itself is not shy about its belief that the -- know back when it comes to building local communities.
Two -- you can take an important step.
-- -- -- We call -- geography of opportunity.
Perhaps most troubling -- some of the administration's prescriptions for Westchester is -- so called problems.
Hud officials John trans Kenya and Mercedes Marquez -- demanding that the county urged banks.
To relax their lending standards apology instrumental in causing America's fighting.
Some people talk about mortgages they can't possibly it will.
This isn't the first time the officials behind -- orders.
Had been the subject of controversy runs -- the former number two at -- illegally withheld documents.
From a constituent when He served as executive at Kings County Washington last year the State Supreme Court finds this -- -- 370000.
Dollars and back in 2007 how -- Secretary Mercedes Marquez came under fire for paying almost 30000 tax dollars.
To his zen Buddhist priest.
For so called management training when she worked for the city of Los Angeles worse still these officials are vowing to take their plan for Westchester County.
We believe this approach equitable development can serve -- -- model for building strong.
Inclusive of sustainable communities across the entire unit it's.
Officials here in Westchester County are vowing to stand their ground.
Meanwhile the Obama administration has made it perfectly clear that the outcome of this battle will resonate across the country.
Now back to you -- That's our own Ainsley Earhardt joining me now the man leading the fight against -- And that is Westchester County executive Robert asked the Reno and -- you have a web site set up for this because you put up there aren't a lot of -- -- Astra dot com is where we -- the letter that putt wrote to the county basically making all these crazy demands that are outside the scope of the settlement.
And this is government gone wild it is social engineering at its worst.
And this is the model that they want to move around the country to every county and every town.
It started with when any county took money from the federal government this case hide.
You had a certified documents and the county settled with the federal government saying that they didn't certify certain things which led to a housing settlement which now -- is going in integration order.
As I look at this -- this is the highest.
Count me in property tax county in America and and you wanna lower the by the way it's nice to finally I know was eleven the number to -- -- -- nearby national counted.
-- So they give -- money to build housing and if somebody applies and they can meet the mortgage it in other words standards and they can get the long.
And these are very inexpensive housing compared to -- the neighborhood right right anybody of any race any religion any color any -- can get.
One of these units right track is no discrimination none whatsoever and what they would so what are they demanding here a view that -- Lola thanks lower standards is that what happened with Fannie and Freddie.
Hunt is trying to change the rules of the agreement in the middle of the game we are building housing as part of the settlement the county has built 750 units.
Of affordable housing in 31 eligible -- Eligible meaning white communities based on the census 7% or less Hispanic 3% or less African American.
We are complying with the settlement were actually finding locations working with communities and building housing in the middle game we get a letter from -- saying.
Not good enough not good -- we want you to do XYZ including.
We -- -- find out how you gonna combat local opposition to me what are you gonna do combat opposition that you like tear gas I don't know when people can stay at a all these crazy things loan modifications we don't do that.
We -- the fourth most diverse county in New York State we are as diverse as Manhattan He and yet.
While Westchester is being singled out as a test case by -- to take this around the nation.
If China make us to do things that are not in the agreement and we're not standing for to China bankrupt our county.
They the original Green was 51 million dollars to build 750 units they are basically making this -- to over a hundred million dollars.
By making us -- one -- put three bedroom units in our communities.
So there's a lot of things -- -- the change in the rules what is -- what are they trying to do years is the equivalent of you know I guess affirmative action forcing you know -- I guess demographically it's gotta be a perfect way regardless of people's ability to pay or get alone.
-- -- what turned out -- trying to say that Westchester has a pattern of segregation discriminates against its housing policies.
We don't do that the facts have says any African American as any Hispanic American men denied access to your housing.
But -- -- that I know of but.
Looked as racism discrimination exist in this world of course it does.
But they are saying their thesis is Westchester is segregated has been segregated continues to be.
The facts don't bear that out -- today -- ironically waste your say it's the most diverse county one up in New York State in New York State.
With the highest property taxes in the country.
That's right and what do you plan to do less well we're holding firm -- -- not gonna allow -- to bankrupt -- county they want us to sue our municipalities to -- up local zoning.
We're not gonna stand for that and if this is the test case for the rest of America.
We're gonna hold firm and make sure they don't succeed rob restaurant we work to -- of auto industry did years ago congratulations on ten years thank you rated very much and --