Court of Appeals Rules Against Westchester County in Fair Housing Dispute

New York State's Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be required to support a bill prohibiting income discrimination in housing that he has fought for years or risk major fines for violating a court order, after a recent decision by a federal appeals court.

Astorino lost what is likely his final appeal in the long-running dispute over the county’s responsibilities under a 2009 settlement that requires Westchester County to remove barriers to fair housing. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a May District Court decision that said the county violated the settlement when Astorino vetoed a bill to prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters using government income such as Section 8 or Social Security to pay their rent, known as source-of-income legislation.

Astorino vetoed the legislation in 2010, saying it was flawed and would saddle landlords with unnecessary regulation. The veto put the county in breach of the 2009 settlement, which calls for the development of 750 units of affordable housing in predominantly white communities.


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