Henry Grabar laments HUD’s decision to accept Westchester’s analysis that their zoning laws do not promote segregation.

 
For eight years, Rob Astorino has led Westchester County, New York in its refusal to comply with the terms of a federal consent decree to hasten the integration of New York City’s racially stratified wealthy northern suburbs.

Ten times, the county submitted a self-satisfied examination of how county zoning impacts racial segregation and what leaders planned to do about it. (Conclusions: It doesn’t; nothing.) Ten times the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rejected that “analysis of impediments.”

In April, a few weeks after HUD deemed the county’s latest effort “unacceptable,” a federal appeals panel declared that Westchester—the swath of small towns and cities between the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound—was “engaging in total obstructionism” by failing to comply with the 2009 settlement. That agreement, signed by Astorino’s predecessor, was the result of a U.S. District Court ruling that Westchester had “utterly failed” to comply with the Fair Housing Act. The Anti-Discrimination Center sued Westchester in 2006 after the county accepted $52 million in HUD grants but falsely certified in the paperwork that it had conducted a proper fair housing analysis.

 

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