Westchester Legislators Advance Slightly Modified Source of Income Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2013

Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-419-5221 (cell)

Westchester Legislators Advance Slightly Modified Source of Income Legislation

White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) advanced today a modified version of the Source of Income legislation that was submitted by County Executive Rob Astorino two weeks ago.

The Source of Income legislation, which Astorino originally vetoed in June 2010, was moved to two BOL committees—Legislation and Community Services, chaired by, respectively Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains) and Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh)—for consideration. The two committees met jointly, and the modified legislation was approved in both with bi-partisan support.

The one major modification for the bill was to change a single exemption. Previously, a landlord living in and owning a rental property with four or less units and maintaining ownership or part ownership in another property of four or less units would be exempted from the law, which bars landlords and real estate professionals from discriminating against potential renters and owners on the source of their income.

The modified Source of Income legislation now simply exempts landlords and owners of one property of six or less units.

“Through a great deal of productive discussion and collaboration, the members of these two Board committees were able to find common ground and create workable legislation that will help protect present and future residents of Westchester,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “This action, once again, serves to show that the Board of Legislators is serious about complying with all of the stipulations of the housing settlement.”

A public hearing on the modified Source of Income Legislation will be set to take place at a regular meeting of the BOL on June 3, 2013.

Westchester County was notified by HUD that it would risk having $7.4 million in 2011 Community Development Block Grant funds reallocated if Astorino failed to take steps toward promoting Source of Income legislation by April 25, 2013. HUD has since declared that the County’s 2012 and 2013 CDBG funds, now totaling $17 million, are also at risk.

Astorino promised to sign the Source of Income legislation he sent down to the BOL, if approved. Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), chair of the BOL Government Operations Committee, voiced her concern that the County Executive would not be bound to his promise to sign the legislation if it was modified, but BOL Minority Leader Jim Maisano (R-New Rochelle) was confident that Astorino would sign the legislation with the BOL’s changes.

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=Bazzo 05/14/13

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