Westchester Legislator Borgia Faults Loss of FEMA Money on Astorino’s HUD Battles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2013

Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)

Westchester Legislator Borgia Faults Loss of Hurricane Sandy FEMA $$ on Astorino’s HUD Battles

White Plains, NY – Westchester Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), chair of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) Government Operations Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to not send Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for Hurricane Sandy relief to Westchester County:

“Once again, we see how the Administration’s unwillingness to work collaboratively with the Federal government to resolve the outstanding issues of the 2009 Housing Settlement hase hurt Westchester residents right in their pocketbooks. Westchester is relying on FEMA funding to do major storm repairs in Playland and in other County facilities, and local municipalities need equal access to fund repairs in their communities. I’m thankful that the State will be allowed to assume the responsibility for distributing these needed funds so that critical repairs can be made. But this decision once again illustrates how important it is for the County to start behaving responsibly and move forward with the settlement issues.

“This is merely the latest in a long series of financial liabilities that the Administration’s continued stubbornness will cost us; and there could be many more significant financial penalties coming for non-compliance of the Housing settlement. Westchester taxpayers can’t afford to continue to bear that burden.”

In a letter dated April 4, HUD noted that its “serious civil rights concerns” connected to County Executive Astorino’s continued non-compliance with the housing settlement is preventing the County from receiving the disaster relief funds. HUD pointed out New York State may “utilize several options to deliver program benefits to Westchester residents without funding the County itself,” however.

Borgia also noted that BOL was never apprised of the HUD letter regarding the loss of FEMA funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. The BOL obtained the HUD letter from an outside source.

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=Bazzo,04/07/13

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